Everyone who watched a Steelers game last season could tell you what one of the major issues was on either side of the ball….the secondary. With a rotation of cornerbacks (CBs) back there, the cornersbacks weren’t that good, quarterbacks (QBs) were just taking advantage. Antwon Blake gave up the most yards of any cornerback last season. There was a play in which he let former quarterback turned wide receiver Terrell Pryor go up on him & completely MOSS him. He is now gone, signed with Tennessee. The guy that we paid before the 2015 season, Cortez Allen proved he was just stealing money & has been released. Will Allen, one of the safeties wasn’t brought back either. So where does that leave the Steelers secondary? Let’s discuss…
Additions. Additions. and some more Additions. The Steelers added some young guys through the draft, after declaring they would not overlook the desperate need for better defensive backs, the Steelers delivered through the draft. As it stands now, the Steelers have a lot of CBs on the roster. William Gay, of course after they gave him another three years will lead the corners in experience. He allowed no TDs in 2015, but that comes with just a little regard being why would you throw at Gay when you can attack Antwon Blake. Then there’s some younger guys who will be given the opportunity to step up and take over spots. Ross Cockrell now has a year under his belt & has shown promise. In 2015, he defended nine passes. Then there’s guys like Senquez Golson, the 2015 draft pick who got injured prior to the season, he will most likely start in the slot. Then the first round pick in 2016, Artie Burns will battle with Doran Grant(another 2015 draft pick) for the fourth CB spot. So Gay, Cockrell, Golson, Grant, and Burns. Trust me, it’s not as bad as it sounds.
Now over to the safeties. Mike Mitchell is one of the starters, without question. As for the other safety, a few names are being thrown around. Robert Golden is most likely to be that guy who starts next to Mitchell. Shamarko Thomas will remain as a backup. The biggest question comes for Sean Davis, the 2016 second round draft pick, who had made a name for himself by being able to cover very well. The Steelers have had issues covering tight ends, which is where Davis may make appearances against teams with heavy TE usage like the Patriots. I have a lot more faith in the safety position moving forward into the season.
This is all speculation though, the true answers will come in training camp & then after preseason games. All in all I believe the Steelers will have a much better go at opposing WRs & QBs this upcoming season. 2015 was just a bad year, but 2016 shows much more promise & hope.