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 Olasunkanmi Adeniyi log time on defense in the regular season opener?
Ola Adeniyi is a player the coaching staff was pretty excited about heading into the offseason. He made the roster through his defensive play during training camp and the preseason, but an injury shelved him for most of the year, so during that time they functioned with Anthony Chickillo as the only true backup outside linebacker.
The undrafted free agent was only activated for the final four games of the season, and he only dressed for one of them, playing just a handful of snaps. The question is, will he see time this year as part of a rotation?
When the Steelers were at their recent height at the outside linebacker position with James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, the two hardly ever came off the field. neither T.J. Watt (especially) nor Bud Dupree took many snaps off last year either, and I can easily see them logging an even greater amount of snaps in 2019, as they seem primed to have their best season yet as a duo.
If that’s the case, then they won’t need many snaps from their reserves, which means that they may only need one player to handle it, as was basically the case last year. Add in the fact that, while he’s practicing fully. Adeniyi is coming off a knee injury that sidelined him for weeks.
Might they even consider sitting him and dressing Tuzar Skipper instead? He had a very productive preseason and even showed that he is able to contribute on special teams, so I don’t think that possibility should be ruled out. If Sean Davis doesn’t play, that could leave room for both, but that spot may more likely go to Justin Layne.