The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Can Sean Davis become one of the defensive playmakers the Steelers are lacking?
Ask anyone who follows the Steelers any they’ll probably tell you. Heading into the 2018 season without Ryan Shazier, they don’t know where the impact is going to come from—who is going to make the plays. Shazier was becoming a highly productive player in terms of turning the ball over, both in intercepting passes and forcing fumbles. Nobody else has even approached any sort of consistent production in that field.
Artie Burns had three interceptions as a rookie, but just one last year, against a backup quarterback. Cameron Heyward is great, but has never been much of a turnover-producer. T.J. Watt had an interception and a forced fumble, which is a good start, but can he add to that?
For as much as he gets ripped, Sean Davis may be one of the best options for the team to find a producer of turnovers this year. He intercepted three passes last season and forced a fumble, in addition to getting his hands on eight more passes. He only recorded one sack, but is capable of producing more, though the blitzing role has largely been turned over to Mike Hilton.
Especially if he is moved over to free safety, and shows that he can be effective there, Davis may well have that opportunity to become a playmaker. I think at this point any of us would settle for a player who can produce three to five turnovers per season consistently.
Even if he remains inconsistent in terms of tackling and even in his one-on-one coverage, demonstrating the ability to produce those splash plays would go a long way toward solidifying his role in the secondary for a greater period of time.