While much has been written about the Pittsburgh Steelers perceived lack of depth at the safety position this year, it would be fair to say that the signing of former Alliance of American Football standout Kameron Kelly has been somewhat overlooked. But with presumed 2019 starter Sean Davis sidelined by a finger injury, it was interesting to note that Kelly was the next man up in his place once again on Sunday.
Before anyone gets carried away and anoints Kelly as a lock to win the backup role, it is worth noting that whoever runs with what team at this stage of the year often has very little meaning on the final outcome. However, it is also not the first time Kelly has been afforded this opportunity since joining the team, and if nothing else, it is clear sign that the coaching staff are giving the former AAF player every chance to show them what he can do.
At 6-foot-2 and around 205 pounds, Kelly has ideal size for the position and having played virtually every position in the secondary while in college or with the San Diego Fleet, the 2019 free agent signing offers a level of versatility few other defensive backs on the roster can match. When speaking to reporters after practice on Sunday, Mike Tomlin was quick to highlight the value of a player capable of taking on multiple roles when asked about Kelly.
“He’s shown good versatility. He’s played some safety, he’s played in some underneath sub package positions, he appears to be quick learner, he appears to have detail in multiple spots. That helps his cause and ours.”
Set to battle against Jordan Dangerfield and Marcus Allen in the race to be the primary backup to Sean Davis or Terrell Edmunds, the task ahead of Kelly is hardly insurmountable given the relative experience and talents of each player. Four interceptions in eight games with the Fleet suggests Kelly might also have a level of playmaking ability his rivals for the position lack.
There is a long way to go until the names vying for the role begin to separate themselves from the pack, but it seems Kelly might be a player to keep an eye on over the coming weeks.