In what could be a Pittsburgh Steelers’ first, Cameron Stingily has made the roster twice as a tryout player.
But in order to have a better chance of sticking than last season, a slight position switch may be in his best interest.
An undrafted back out of Northern Illinois in 2014, his first leap onto the roster came after his running style left a positive impression on Mike Tomlin, per Stingily’s own words to Steelers.com last year. He was used exclusively as a running back last season and logged a ton of work, 58 training camp carries, before a foot injury ended his season. But maybe “slogged” is a better term for Stingily, who, even realizing he’s a big back, struggled to show any semblance of burst and speed.
Here is a snippet of what I wrote on him last camp.
“There has to be some level of speed and explosion, even for a big back like him. It isn’t there with Stingily. And he’s terribly awkward out of the backfield and doesn’t seem particularly apt in protection, his lack of lateral movement hindering him.”
Maybe he’s dropped some weight. Gained a step. Or maybe it’s best for him to accept his size and transition into a blocking-type role. With Will Johnson signing elsewhere, Pittsburgh has only one true fullback on the roster in Roosevelt Nix. Perhaps Colorado UDFA Christian Powell could’ve slid into that backup spot but his spot gave way to Stingily. So it would be logical for Stingily to adopt a blocking mindset.
Even though Stingily didn’t act in that role last season, he received work as a lead blocker in Northern Illinois’ option attack. The idea wouldn’t be a foreign concept and the path to play time much easier.
While I’m sure Stingily could again absorb carries in camp with Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams likely limited for health and age reasons, his poor skillset and worse productivity makes the idea of him cracking this team as a bonafide running back slim.
If insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result, a move to fullback might be the most sane path to walk.