clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Keith Butler, like the rest of us, is unsure of who will start at safety in 2018

The Pittsburgh Steelers suddenly have a plethora of safeties on their roster, but no one knows who will play or where they will play.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Last year the Pittsburgh Steelers’ depth chart at the safety position wasn’t very impressive: Mike Mitchell, Sean Davis, J.J. Wilcox and Robert Golden.

With Mitchell constantly hurt, Wilcox’s playing time decreasing every week and Golden being more of a special-teams ace than quality depth, things were dire at the position. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the team decided to completely rebuild the position this offseason.

On the first day of free agency, both Mitchell and Golden were released. Then, after the 2018 NFL Draft, Wilcox was given his release as well.

This left Sean Davis as the lone safety from the previous regime, but it’s not as if the organization didn’t restock the shelves.

Morgan Burnett and Nat Berhe were signed via free agency, and Terrell Edmunds and Marcus Allen were added via the draft process.

The question now remains, who will play and where will they play? As it turns out, even defensive coordinator Keith Butler isn’t sure of the answer to these questions.

“Who’s going to be the post safety, who’s going to be down in the box, we haven’t made that decision yet. We’ll wait until training camp.” Butler told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Okay, so you don’t know for sure who will be opening the regular season as the starting safety tandem. That’s okay, but not even to have a clue? Butler might be yanking our chain, or is he?

The players he has available now are quite athletic and versatile, but they’re also at completely different stages of their careers. The veteran in Burnett, Davis being the veteran in the Steelers’ system, plus rookies Edmunds and Allen. Nonetheless, Butler is impressed by what he’s seen from Edmunds so far during offseason workouts.

“I like Terrell, he’s very vocal, that’s the great thing about him, but he hasn’t played at the NFL level. We know Morgan can play. We know [Sean Davis] can play, we know S.D. has a lot of range.” Butler said.

So, to sum things up:

There’s a ton of talent and versatility at the safety position this year for the Black-and-gold, but if you’re trying to predict which players get the starting nod in Week 1 — good luck.

Speaking of which, who do you think will be the starting safety tandem for the Steelers when they travel to Cleveland in Week 1? Let us know in the comments section below!