It had been a while since Morgan Burnett graced a football field for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but following the Week 7 bye week, Burnett’s injured groin was healthy enough to get back on the playing field.
Some might have thought the Steelers would ease him back into duty, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. While the Steelers didn’t load him with starter repetitions, they used Burnett and L.J. Fort to be the sub package specialists in lieu of Jon Bostic and Vince Williams.
In fact, the snap totals almost mirror this sub package switch to a ‘T’:
Morgan Burnett - 23 snaps (36%)
L.J. Fort - 21 snaps
Vince Williams - 42 snaps (66%)
Jon Bostic - 42 snaps
The plan worked well against Baker Mayfield and the Browns’ offense, but whether this was a one week stint, or a sign of things to come, has yet to be seen.
Nonetheless, the Steelers will now hope a similar plan will work with relative effectiveness against Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. With the Ravens utilizing more tight ends than maybe any other team in the NFL, it is safe to say this could be a game where Mike Hilton, Burnett and Fort see a lot of time.
Time to check in on other nuggets which caught my eye when looking over the snap totals from Week 8.
- The Ryan Switzer project continues as the Steelers used him as a wide receiver on 19 plays. This is compared to Justin Hunter, who was active, and received 38 snaps.
- Jesse James played significantly more than Vance McDonald in Week 8. James logged 40 snaps, to McDonald’s 27.
- Roosevelt Nix saw time at fullback for 10 snaps, which is an increase from previous weeks. For those who pine for the Dan Krider days, it might never get to those levels, but it is still a step in the right direction.
- There was less rotating along the defensive line. Cameron Heyward logged 53 snaps, Stephon Tuitt 45 and reserve tackles Daniel McCullers and Tyson Alualu recording 9 and 19 snaps respectively.
- Artie Burns did see the field, but just on special teams. 10 snaps.
To see the complete list of Steelers snap totals from Week 8, check the grid below, or click HERE: