You may recall for the past several offseasons that I ran an article series called The Optimist’s/Pessimist’s Take. I used it to explore different issues and topics the Pittsburgh Steelers were facing and took a positive or negative approach, examining each side in a separate article. This is essentially the same idea behind that, only condensed into one article for every topic.
In this version of the idea, I’ll be playing the Devil’s Advocate for both sides of the issue, looking at the best-case and worst-case scenarios in trying to find the range of likely outcomes of what is likely to happen for the Steelers relating to whatever topic the article is covering.
When it comes to the process of trying to construct a championship roster, the reality is that there are a ton of moving parts, and several ways to acquire said parts. There are a lot of things that can go right or wrong in not always predictable ways, so I think it’s helpful to try to look at issues by seeking out the boundaries of the likely positive or negative results.
Topic: Which third-year player will end up logging more snaps on defense, Senquez Golson or Anthony Chickillo?
Hey, at least we’re not talking about the ability for Bud Dupree to contribute, right? But the bottom line is that the Steelers have yet to see the sort of return on investment from their 2015 NFL Draft class that they were hoping for.
While there is optimism over Dupree for this season and the amount of work that he has put in over the course of the past few months, frequently on his own time, the Steelers are still trying to figure out what they have in other components of their draft class.
Senquez Golson has easily been the biggest disappointment so far because he has not been able to get healthy and on the field. Anthony Chickillo, on the other hand, has already exceeded expectations as a former sixth-round draft pick.
Senquez Golson will play more.
Let’s just talk pure odds. What is the likelihood that a young player such as Golson will be unable to make it through training camp for all three of his first few seasons in the league? It’s rather improbable, even considering the possible compounding nature of injuries.
The Steelers tried to get him on the field last year already, and would have been starting in the slot. They still like him, even if they are downtalking him at the moment. Even if he doesn’t win the starting nickel job, he could still have a role, while Chickillo could be relegated to special teams.
Anthony Chickillo will play more.
It’s true that Chickillo’s path to playing time got a lot harder this year with a healthy Dupree and the drafting of T.J. Watt. Dupree, Watt, and James Harrison should take up the vast majority of snaps from the outside linebacker position.
But Chickillo may well take whatever is left over, and when his competition is somebody who is not even guaranteed to make the roster, let alone have a role, a good argument could be made as to why he would receive more playing time.
Which side do you lean closer toward?