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: What will Kameron Kelly’s role on defense be going forward?
The Steelers have Minkah Fitzpatrick now. While he’s going to start out ‘anchored’ at safety, and Sean Davis was able to move around too, it’s clear that Fitzpatrick in the long run offers more versatility and range.
The Steelers indicated that they would like to use Kameron Kelly in sub-packages as a third safety, but due to injuries we really haven’t gotten to see that yet. They are also working on Cameron Sutton, who can do the same things, ostensibly, and had some good reps on Sunday, including stops on back-to-back plays on opposite sides of the field.
Is Kelly going to fall by the wayside and simply be the number three safety, the top backup at free safety? And would he also start at strong safety should Terrell Edmunds be injured, or would that spot go to Jordan Dangerfield? It’s been a while since they’ve had to start a replacement at strong safety, but when they did, all the way back in 2016, Dangerfield lined up there for two games.
Between Mike Hilton as the primary nickel defender and Sutton supplementing, I’m really not sure it’s necessary, either from a talent or versatility perspective, to get Kelly on the field. Hilton can play safety. Sutton can play everywhere. They can move pieces around, and Hilton is even more physical. Sutton has shown to have a physicality to his game as well.
They liked him enough to allow him to start the season opener with Davis hurt, but might that be the extent to which the Steelers have trusted Kelly? He ran as the number three safety all offseason, but I’m not sure they’re actually content in that role.