Sports

Steelers who have a chance to deal with the loss of Stephon Tuitt this season – if they are smart and lucky

Stephon Tuitt’s removal from the Steelers deep chart in 2022 should not hurt security as much as it did last year.

If the Steelers speak well. And if they get a little chance.

For fans as much as I was for Tuitt as a player, it was not his absence in the 17 games that broke the Steelers defense as the absence of Tyson Alualu in 16 games.

Because as we saw Alualu injured in the first leg of the 2nd week against the Las Vegas Raiders with a final season injury, that’s when the Steelers’ defense really got into the tank.

In Week 1, even without Tuitt, the defense was very good on the road to preventing the winner of the AFC East Buffalo Bills 23-16. Especially the front seven. And Alualu was very good with five strikes and a QB hit on Josh Allen.

But from the moment Alualu came out against the Opponents, that’s when the Steelers’ defense went south – especially in an attempt to stop a quick attack.

This does not mean that Alualu is a better player than Tuitt. He is not. Alualu is always consistent, useful and reliable and sometimes bright.

When Tuitt is healthy and at risk, he can be a spoiler of sports.

Well, he may not be resting on Wednesday.

But Alualu’s injuries exacerbated Tuitt’s absence. That’s what defense has not been able to overcome. Especially with a few options on the deep chart after losing all.

Other than that, following a broken Alualu knee, the Steelers played all season without anyone believing him to be their starting point and their main target for both Tuitt and Cameron Heyward in defense.

Chris Wormley had not played much since joining the team from Baltimore in 2020. Carlos Davis did not see the club as a rookie that year. Isaiahh Loudermilk was a rookie who was not expected to offer much in ’21. Montravius ​​Adams did not join the team until the end of November.

Both players are experienced and know security now. And, most importantly, Alualu is healthy.

This does not mean that he has done well within the linebacker game from Devin Bush (now over a year to recover from a knee injury) and Myles Jack (seems to be improving from Joe Schobert).

So for all these reasons, the bittersweet bites of Tuitt for the second straight year after signing up with a free agency should not ruin the Steelers as they did in ’21.

So if the Steelers shared what it would have been like for Tuitt to shoot well and if he had a chance the defensive line would be healthy all season – especially Alualu, Wormley and Heyward.

“When you have guys who can walk around, this can help us as a part where guys can play multiple positions and fill up wherever they need,” Alualu said Thursday. “Most of the teams we have on nickel protection, then I always play two defense games. It doesn’t matter if you are playing nose or in the end, you have to be ready to go there.

The wisest course is to be ready. In the first 3-4 defense, Alualu plugged back into the nostrils where he started 10 games well in 2020 after Javon Hargrave took off for Philadelphia for free. Join Wormley and Heyward to play defensive positions.

In packs of five pennies and dime, I keep Alualu and Heyward on the field as often as their appearance would allow, Wormley is the custodian of restorative spots both spots.

The combination of Loudermilk, rookie DeMarvin Leal, twins Davis (Carlos and Khalil) and Daniel Archibong can see how much they need in the end. Adams and Henry Mondeaux will give depth to the nose.

Wormley, however, appears to be hoping to fill Tuitt’s position. By 2020, that means 75.6% of self-defense weapons, second only to Heyward among defenders (78.3%). The Arabs were in the field only 43.5% of the time that year.

“I think I’m ready for this job,” Wormley said. “I’m glad Tyson is back healthy. I’m glad the other guys have taken action and played well this season.

“I feel like I took advantage of the opportunity I got last year when Tyson and Tuitt came out. …

Wormley started the game 14 again and finished with 71% defense on the line, even playing the nose sometimes. As a result, he set top jobs with seven pockets and 51 tacks.

But anyone who has played for a long time in the top seven – even Heyward and teammate All-Pro TJ Watt – should wear the dirty jerseys of the defensive team that ended up in the running race, shedding blood yards for the NFL-worst 146.1. in every game down in 2021.

To that end, of all the ways in which Wormley has acted in the running race, it seems he is trying to add some weight to the stability of the running game. The 28-year-old said he is wearing about five to seven pounds this season.

“I feel good,” Wormley said. “It will take a while for the steering to stabilize and add a little weight. But I’m glad I can carry that weight, hold it and carry it properly.”

Steelers.com currently owns Wormley for £ 300.

The Steelers could add a line of defense in the free kick before the season begins. But with some of the planned plans for Tuitt’s retirement, he could see the need to add a deeper chart to running in the back or outside of the linebacker, where the lines are much thinner after the startup.

So, in the meantime, don’t expect a big move to fill the hole left by Tuitt. Healthy dogs and a very strong Wormley would not be good. But the results could be good enough, and it will be better than 2021.

I think that wouldn’t be the worst. Especially against running.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review employee. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via twitter. All tweets can be reposted. All emails can be printed unless otherwise stated.

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