When Mark Barron signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 17, 2019 fans were excited about his versatility due to him being a former safety. I was skeptical about Barron’s ability after watching tape from last season when he was with the Los Angeles Ram. Barron was released by the Rams earlier in March, saving $6.3 million against the salary cap.
Pro Football Focus’ tweet exemplifies Barron’s struggles in the past two seasons.
Barron has played 750+ snaps each of the last four seasons for the Rams. He is coming off the worst overall grade of his career in 2018 (54.0).— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) March 17, 2019
Overall grades by season:
2018: 54.0 https://t.co/AebYr81XJX
Focusing on Barron’s tape from the Sunday night debacle against the New England Patriots, there were more struggles than highlights from Barron. Barron was not a dumpster fire, but far from what Steelers Nation was hoping for. He did not look fast or fluid in changing direction defending against the run or pass. The struggles were mainly against the pass against the slippery running back corps from New England. James White walked out of the game with 56 yards receiving, while Rex Burkhead hauled in 41. In all, the Patriots running backs accounted for 188 total yards.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, Chris Carson tallied 6 catches for 34 yards and a touchdown Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Barron has to do a better job of limiting Carson or it could be a long day against the Seahawks.