It’s like the Pittsburgh Steelers’ own version of an early Christmas gift. The return of Ladarius Green and Bud Dupree are two high-profile additions most teams don’t enjoy. And Mike Tomlin fully expects them to be a critical part of the Steelers’ playoff push.
Speaking to the media during his weekly Tuesday presser, he anticipated both players have big roles the rest of the way.
“Much like we talked about Ladarius Green, I’m pleased with the progress with Bud. And really taking the same approach to his inclusion of play. Health is one thing, football readiness is another…we’ve been working him in and he’s proved his overall readiness beyond his health.”
Tomlin noted Dupree’s performance against the Indianapolis Colts was a great sign. One that will push him to additional playing time.
“I think last week was a significant step for him. I think he played roughly 20 snaps and was able to be a positive contributor to our efforts. So as long as that continues to move forward, as long he continues to show detail in assignment and getting up to speed from a football conditoning standpoint, it’s reasonable to assume his contributions will increase.”
As Tomlin points out, expect Dupree to play even more this week. He may even draw the start over Anthony Chickillo and if he doesn’t now, it’s likely he will at some point before season’s end.
He looked fresh-legged, explosive, and while he didn’t get to the quarterback, had the look of someone who is going to get his fair share of sacks before the regular season is over.
If Green can do similar with big plays, as he showed last week, the Steelers will have a couple new tools to capture the AFC North crown.