The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered two main blows to their inside linebacker group once they misplaced LB Cole Holcomb for the season in week 9 and LB Kwon Alexander for the season in week 10. Holcomb had worn the inexperienced dot for Pittsburgh, which means he communicated the defensive play. calls and was one of many key communicators on the defensive aspect of the ball. Alexander changed him with the inexperienced spot in Week 10, however after he went down on the group’s first drive, these duties fell to LB Elandon Roberts. Pittsburgh’s communication suffered, particularly because the group additionally defeated All-Professional FS Minkah Fitzpatrick.
On his Not Simply Soccer podcast, Steelers DL Cameron Heyward talked in regards to the want for higher communication and mentioned it would take a collective effort to fill the void in the midst of the protection.
“We are able to use a man like Mykal Walker, or take down a security, but it surely’s all executed by committee. It is similar to the operating again place, the place it is not only one man,” Heyward mentioned. “Now we have to make sure that we’re organized on this and talk much more. It is a collective effort now till we get guys who really feel extra comfy.
Pittsburgh has many veterans who know the significance of excellent communication and methods to talk successfully. Heyward, OLBs TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith, CB Patrick Peterson and even somebody like S Damontae Kazee have all been within the league and can have the ability to play an even bigger position within the communication side of the sport. There is a studying curve for gamers who aren’t used to being the lead communicators on protection, so the chance is there for veterans to assist them out till guys like Roberts and fellow LB Mark Robinson turn into extra comfy in expanded communication roles .
Outdoors of the communication side, the lack of Alexander and Holcomb leaves the Steelers all the way down to their two prime protection linebackers. The best resolution to that downside is to maneuver S Keanu Neal, who moved to linebacker throughout his time with the Dallas Cowboys. Nevertheless, that may pose an issue with security depth, particularly since Fitzpatrick is not totally wholesome but. There isn’t any clear and straightforward resolution, however the query of who will cowl opposing operating backs and tight ends looms giant for Pittsburgh.
The timing could not have been worse for Holcomb and Alexander to take a seat out this season, as each accidents occurred proper after the NFL commerce deadline, leaving solely scraps obtainable on the free agent market. Mike Tomlin already mentioned the Steelers will not look to make any extra exterior additions to the place, so will probably be as much as Roberts, Robinson, Walker and Tariq Carpenter to carry down the fort at inside linebacker.