Some offseason fodder for those who care about such things. Stephon Tuitt was named to NFL.com’s Under 25 team, the only Pittsburgh Steeler to make an appearance.
Elliott Harrison compiled the list and marked Tuitt as a defensive tackle, which for the purposes of this exercise we’ll roll with, and has this to say.
“The best player on the Steelers’ defense, Tuitt is a difference-maker for defensive coordinator Keith Butler. Besides being a consummate space-eater in the middle, Tuitt is often able to get a push up front, racking up 10.5 sacks in just 28 games over the last two seasons. Also worth noting: Tuitt deflected three passes and forced two fumbles in 2016. An effective run-stopper, he was very good in that category two seasons ago when he recorded 54 tackles.”
“Best player” is a touch strong, he isn’t even the best player on his own defensive line, but the assessment is generally spot on. Turning 24 in May, Tuitt was a home run pick for Kevin Colbert, a second round selection in 2014. He has 110 career tackles, 11.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles.
He and Cam Heyward make up for one of the best tandems in football along the defensive line and Tuitt is in line for a long-term, mega deal sometime during the offseason. Tuitt also grew as a leader on the field in 2016, forced to step up in Heyward’s absence. He helped rally the team to their impressive second half performance.
If you’re about to throw something out your computer over the omission of Le’Veon Bell, he turned 25 in February, so he wasn’t eligible for the list. Zeke Elliott and Jordan Howard took the running back spots.
Tuitt was the only player in the AFC North to make the team. Again, check out the full list here.