The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their training camp sessions since 1966. While the vast majority of the legwork of building the 90-man roster is done, there is always some fine tinkering to do. Now it’s time to figure out who is worthy of a roster spot, and what their role will be.
The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they’re bound to have new starters.
How will those position groups sort themselves out? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in practice? Who is sitting out due to injury?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will Kameron Kelly be the dark horse player who pushes hard enough to make the 53-man roster?
It’s still incredibly early in training camp, and in saying that, it should be implied that any discussion about a player’s performance, particularly a young player, comes with some huge caveats. No matter how well or poorly they may be doing, the narrative could change in a hurry.
But first-year defensive back Kameron Kelly has been turning some heads so far through three days at training camp, and for the moment appears to be in the running to make the 53-man roster, currently running as the backup free safety to Sean Davis. With Davis suffering a finger injury yesterday, Kelly even got to work with Terrell Edmunds and the first-team defense.
But he has not only received quality snaps, he has also shown quality within those snaps, and has demonstrated the ability to play multiple positions, as he has also been seeing some playing time in the slot behind Mike Hilton and Cameron Sutton.
The interesting part of the discussion is the fact that most of the team’s other safeties more clearly profile as a strong safety, i.e. Marcus Allen, Jordan Dangerfield, and P.J. Locke. Allen and Dangerfield entering training camp were regarded as the clear favorites to win two backup jobs at safety, perhaps the only two.
If Kelly takes his strong start and carries it across the finish line, he could force the team to carry five safeties (and thanks to his versatility, perhaps only five cornerbacks), or might even threaten the job security of Dangerfield (more likely) or Allen.