The Pittsburgh Steelers made an investment in outside linebacker Bud Dupree prior to the 2019 regular season. That investment was a hefty one too as they picked up the former Kentucky linebacker’s 5th year option, costing the organization roughly $9 million dollars for his services this season.
A large contingent of fans were up in arms when the team decided to give Dupree the money, based on the fact he has yet to really live up to the expectations of a first round draft pick.
As an outside linebacker, you are gauged by one thing, and one thing only — sacks. This might not be fair considering how much the Steelers have their outside linebackers drop into coverage, but when fans point to an outside linebacker’s stats, they always reference sacks first.
In Dupree’s first four years, he has never totaled more than 6 sacks in a season (2017), and has tallied just 20 sacks throughout the same time span. For a comparison, T.J. Watt, who is entering year three, already has already totaled in two years what took Dupree four.
Not a good look for Dupree.
With his freakish size and speed there is no reason why he shouldn’t be nearing double-digit sacks every season, and with Watt now a legitimate threat on the other side he will be seeing even more one-on-one coverage than he did before.
This offseason Dupree has been putting in work, and he posted a new workout video, similar to one last year, showing him working on his craft. Take a look at the video which was posted on his verified Twitter account:
This isn’t the first time Dupree has posted an offseason workout video. Last year he showed himself doing work with Von Miller in the offseason, and as fans clamored to see if it would make a difference during the season, his 5.5 sacks in 2018 left them feeling deflated.
Will this year be different? Will Dupree’s work pay dividends in a contract year? Only time will tell, but hopefully Dupree doesn’t think the video posted will have an impact on the fan base’s impression of him as a player.