Every offseason, almost every position group on the Steelers roster gets a little bit of a makeover. Sometimes there are additions which can give fans more hope going into the next season, while other times there are losses which can cause doubt and uncertainty. Sometimes there aren’t any changes in the position group, which could be viewed as either a positive or a negative.
When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers defense for 2022, there are not nearly as many changes as there was with the offense. If you are looking to answer the same question with the Steelers offense for 2022, check out the following article that was posted over the weekend:
With many changes coming in personnel, there are some position groups which appear to be improved while others have a lot to prove for the upcoming season. Whether it be a group with a lot of changes or none at all, what position are fans most concerned about going into the 2022 season?
Here is a breakdown, including key losses and gains, for each position group on the Steelers defense:
(NOTE: Only players signed with previous years of service in the NFL or players selected in the 2022 NFL draft will be considered additions, and players who were on the Steelers 53-man roster in 2021 will be considered losses.)
Losses: Stephon Tuitt
Additions: DeMarvin Leal
While Stephon Tuitt only spent one day on the Steelers 53-man roster in 2021 before landing on the Reserve/Injured List, he is still considered a loss for the team when he announced his retirement on June 1. But Tuitt ultimately did not contribute to the 2021 Steelers. What seems more of a change would be considering Tyson Alualu as an addition as he played in less than two games in 2021 and looks to return to the Steelers at the age of 35. But with Tuitt out of the picture and the Steelers struggling to stop the run in 2021, questions about the unit returning to its 2020 greatness are warranted.
Losses: Taco Charlton
Additions: Genard Avery
While the starting positions at this group are taken care of, especially with raining NFL Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt, it’s the reserve positions which enter into the rotation which can be concerning. With the Steelers shuffling various players to fill out the position group in 2021, considering Taco Charlton as a significant loss is up for debate. But exactly how the Steelers will implement Genard Avery remains to be seen, as well as if he can adequately fill in to be the needed depth at the position moving forward.
Losses: Joe Schobert
Additions: Myles Jack, Mark Robinson
The million dollar question for 2022 when it comes to the inside linebacker position for the Steelers is if Myles Jack is a significant upgrade over Joe Schobert. Both linebackers struggled in their final season in Jacksonville, so whether or not there is an upgrade there depends on who you ask. Also, if Devin Bush cannot regain his speed he had prior to his knee injury in 2020, the plethora of players the Steelers have fighting for spots for the season could be more important than we realize at this time.
Losses: Joe Haden
Additions: Levi Wallace
With only a change of one player not returning (so far) and the addition of one other, it somehow feels more like it’s a completely different cornerback room. Joe Haden held down the top cornerback spot for the Steelers since 2017, so the uncertainty as to who is the top dog in the room has many fans worried the Steelers simply are not good enough. While having three quality cornerbacks is a good thing, not having any player deemed as the top guy at this point is why some feel the Steelers need to make another signing. More than anything else, this position group seems to have more of an ‘unknown’ factor heading into training camp.
Additions: Damontae Kazee
The Steelers locked in safety Minkah Fitzpatrick for the next five years in a rare early signing which may be signs of things to come from the new Steelers front office. Regardless of what it means to players in the future, it means that the Steelers know who their star in the secondary is going in the next season, and have added another piece to the puzzle to fit things together on the backend.
So which position group on the Steelers defense are you most concerned about heading into the 2022 season? While there may be multiple groups for there to be concern, which one is on top of the list? Make sure to vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
What position group is the greatest concern for the Steelers 2022 defense?