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Breaking down just how Marcus Allen can help the Steelers secondary

Can Marcus Allen can give the Steelers’ secondary another weapon, or will he be nothing more than a special teams ace? Let’s prognosticate.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Many readers will probably roll their eyes when seeing this article and think, “Great. Another article about Marcus Allen.”

While Allen has been in the news, and on BTSC, the past week for signing his contract and wrapping up rookie minicamp, it is my goal to give fans a good look at the new players entering the fold for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Highlight reels are awesome, but they don’t tell the whole story with a player. This is where Draft Breakdown comes into play, and is a wonderful tool to help isolate a specific player on the field of play.

When watching a few breakdowns on Allen, which you can see below, you notice several things:

  • He is a communicator

This is something Mike Tomlin noted about both Allen and first round pick Terrell Edmunds at rookie minicamp. It is usually Allen who is directing traffic in the back end of the secondary - a very positive sign for the often communication-deficient Steelers’ secondary.

  • The kid can tackle

Is he a perfect tackler? Not by any means, but he is a more sound tackler than a defensive back who simply throws his shoulder at the lower body of the ball carrier.

  • Can overpursue

When you watch him coming down from the deep secondary into the box to make a play inn the open field, he often overpursues the ball carrier. I realize there are occasions when forcing someone inside, or outside, is important, but in most of these occasions you are expected to make the one-on-one tackle. Not a huge red flag, but something which needs attention at the NFL level.

  • Has a tendency to disappear

No, he isn’t David Copperfield, but for a safety who is considered hard-hitting, there are occasions when you expect to see No. 2 flashing, but he rarely does. This likely has a lot to do with coverage responsibilities, and if the Steelers can put him in a position where his job is more singular, there is no doubt he can be successful.

After watching plenty of these breakdowns, it is difficult for me to see Allen being anything more than a special teams player in his rookie season. If he does eke out a niche for himself, it would be in a heavy sub package where he plays a box linebacker. He certainly needs work in the open field and playing a deep half position in the secondary. Enough about what I think. Check out some video breakdowns for yourself and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Penn State vs. USC (Rose Bowl)

Penn State vs. Michigan (2017)

Penn State vs. Michigan (2016)