Despite having already signed veteran free agent safety Morgan Burnett to a three-year contract in March, the Pittsburgh Steelers still proceeded to select two other safeties during the 2018 NFL Draft. One of those two safeties was Virginia Tech product Terrell Edmunds and he was the Steelers first-round pick this year. On Wednesday, Burnett, who is entering his ninth season in the NFL, was a guest on the Jim Rome Show and during his interview he was asked to comment on the development of Edmunds with OTAs now coming to a close.
“Terrell is a guy, you can see him, he’s a very mature guy,” Burnett said of Edmunds. “You know, he comes in ready to work. You can tell the stage is not too big for him and he’s a guy that asks questions and he’s going to try to go out and do everything that you tell him. I’m looking forward to seeing him out there, man. He’s going to be a bright young talent in this league.
“And I just kind of just do what those guys, Nick Collins, Tramon Williams, did for me [in Green Bay]. Just set examples by the way that I practice, and I let him know I’m always there for him. If he has a question, I’m there to the answer them. I mean, our lockers are right next to each other, so we’re in constant communication with one another.”
Being in constant communication is a huge talking point this offseason when it comes to the Steelers defense when they are on the field and one of the many positive attributes that Burnett brings to the Steelers from his time with the Green Bay Packers is his ability to communicate calls both pre and post-snap and get players lined up in the right positions. During his Wednesday radio interview, Burnett was asked to comment on just how important on-field communication is and the kind of difference it makes when it’s done correctly.
“It makes a huge difference,” Burnett said. “I think that’s one of the key elements to the game is you’ve got your pre-snap communication, your communication during a play, and sometimes your communication post-snap. So, communication is key and that starts with the camaraderie and the bond that you have in a locker room and when you have that, it makes the communication that much easier. And when you’re communicating and on the same page you play that much faster.”
We won’t know for several more weeks if Burnette will mostly be used down low in the box like he was quite often during his career with the Packers, or if he’ll be given his fair share of snaps as a deep safety as either part of two-high, or one-high coverages. On Wednesday, however, Burnette was asked if at this point in his career f he sees himself mostly as a safety who sometimes does other things, or if he sees himself as just a defensive player who can make plays wherever he is asked to line up on the field.
“Yeah, I see myself just as a safety that can do multiple things,” Burnett said. “I feel like in today’s game, as a safety, you have to be versatile. I mean the game grows and the game changes every year and I feel like the more you can do, the longer you can stick around.”
After playing his first eight seasons in the NFL with the Packers, Burnett was asked Thursday what he thinks it will ultimately feel like to put on a different jersey come Week 1 of the regular season when the Steelers play the Cleveland Browns.
“It’s going to be different,” Burnett said. “I’ve been putting on one uniform for eight years and now I’m putting on another uniform. But I think it’s exciting. It’s a new chapter in my career, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited, my family’s excited about it and I can’t wait.”