There are many players that the Pittburgh Steelers are counting on this season, especially on the defensive side of their team. While many are expecting major improvements to come from the additions of rookie linebacker Devin Bush and free agent acquisition Steven Nelson, safety Terrell Edmunds is also being counted on to take another step in his development as he enters his second year.
Edmunds dropped into Sirius NFL Radio’s ‘Movin’ The Chains’ on Friday night and spoke to Jim Miller and Paul Alexander about his development as he enters his sophomore year.
“Going on to year two is a big step as you can see. Coach (Tomlin) is always talking about that’s the biggest step that you’ll have in your NFL career mostly because you know what to expect. You’ve been through it, your first rodeo and now its time to just advance and learn from your mistakes from last year,” says Edmunds
There is no doubt that Edmunds had a chaotic and unexpected first rodeo. During the 2018 season, the then rookie safety was expected to see some time in sub packages and slowly be integrated into the defense. But in the ever-changing world of the National Football League, plans can and will change in an instant.
Edmunds was thrown to fire during his rookie year, playing a team leading 1190 snaps. While this is not a scenario teams generally want their rookies to be in, the silver lining is that Edmunds emerged from the fire just as confident as before. Not a rookie any longer, the former first round draft pick says he spent this offseason really just learning all the communicative aspects of the defense.
“Really just (spent this offseason) learning the defense to a tee. Being able to communicate on all levels, being able to know exactly what the linebackers are doing, knowing exactly what the cornerbacks are doing, and also just excelling at my position. So, just pretty much being able to have that communication level high and then just continue to grow off of that.”
Another big issue that plagued the Steelers’ defense last season was a lack of turnovers. The defense recorded just eight interceptions last season while leading the league with 13 dropped interceptions according to Pro Football Focus. New defensive backs assistant Teryl Austin has made it mandatory for the defensive backs to spend time on the Jugs machine this offseason and Edmunds backed up his coach, stating that getting hands on the football has been a big point of emphasis for the defense.
“Just really constantly making an emphasis on having a ball in our hands, if it’s a drop ball, if there’s a tip or overthrow, always scooping up the ball and intercepting the ball the best way we can. And like guys like Devin Bush and Mark Baron, the new additions up front, they’re faster players up front so they’re making it easier for us in the back end as well so it’s just all coming together well,” says Edmunds.
If year two is the biggest step of an NFL player’s career, it certainly sounds like Edmunds is more than ready to take that next step. That should come as no surprise though as the Steelers’ safety has showed incredible poise and confidence after being thrown into the fire as a rookie. Now after emerging from a fiery rookie season, all that is left for Edmunds is to put his plan in motion and that can start by getting his hands on the football more this season.