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One Step To Take: TE Christian Scotland-Williamson

Bringing back a series I had a lot of fun exploring the last several offseasons. Every player wants to improve, to elevate his game in all areas from one season to the next. Understanding that, we’re going to isolate just one area, one faction of a player’s game. The biggest area for improvement.

Christian Scotland-Williamson: Look Like You Belong

Last year was an expected difficult year for the man nicknamed Scotty. First year playing American football after a previously successful rugby career. But he took the bold chance, credit to him for that, and stuck around on the Steelers’ practice squad, his roster spot exempted by the league’s International Pathway Program.

Maybe showing some of that rugby toughness, he didn’t miss a game or practice, that I’m aware of, last season. He made it through camp relatively intact so at a baseline level, soaked up all the available reps to improve his game. But as you’d expect, he has quite the climb and certainly looked like a fish out of water who crossed the pond.

Here’s what I wrote of him in my post-camp writeup:

“His size alone allows him to get a decent-enough push as a blocker, you see it on the sleds, but he had trouble keeping his eye level up and getting overextending. CSW has been virtually invisible as a receiver. By my count, he had only three catches across 15 practices and only one in the first two games. I think they’ve all been dumpoffs into the flats. Kinda hard to participate that much and produce so little.”

His production was so minimal it’s hard to even evaluate. The guy just didn’t get open, a 6’8 frame that struggles to separate. His key will be trying to make things work as a blocker, though leverage is an obvious issue for a man so tall. Working on keeping his pad level down will be critical.

Said this before on the podcast. You’ll know lightning quick if he’s improved, if there’s a little something something there or if he’s simply never going to make it. I don’t need an entire preseason to tell me that. A couple of practices. Either his development will have accelerated by leaps and bounds or he’ll be only marginally better from where he started and that won’t be enough to carve out a career. He should still remain on the roster regardless, Kevin Colbert confirmed his roster spot will once again be exempt, but hopefully we’re talking about his chances in more glowing terms than just a default, guaranteed job.

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