The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: How does the Steelers’ depth at safety compare to other teams around the league?
This would seem to me to be a pretty notable question, given that it is a topic that I have seen raised at least a dozen times or more over the course of the offseason. The general consensus that I’ve found is that the majority of you don’t think the Steelers have very good safety depth in the form of Robert Golden, Jordan Dangerfield, and Daimion Stafford.
But how does that group of safeties compare to other backup safeties around the league? To be perfectly honest, I don’t have a great answer for you. For obvious reasons, I am not as familiar with the intimate nuances of the rosters of the other 31 teams around the league as I am with the Steelers.
But I have a sneaking suspicion that if you actually compare Pittsburgh’s depth at safety, player for player, with the other teams around the league, you would find that they are no worse than average. At least all three of them have playing experience, even having started games, and played in diverse roles.
Can you really argue that, for example, the Bills are in better position than the Steelers in terms of the players that they have behind their starters? Is the Bears’ safety depth in comparison anything to write home about? How about the Cowboys?
These are just random teams, but chances are you’re not going to dig through their depth chart and find the gold that many seem to expect to find. Generally speaking, backups are not starters for a reason. Not every starter can be backed up by a starter in waiting.
Personally, I think the Steelers’ depth at safety is fine with the three players that they have in reserve. Golden in particular gets more criticism than he deserves, especially given that he played through most of last season with injuries, while others like Anthony Chickillo readily get a pass because they were injured at some point.