Now that training camp is underway, and the roster for the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: S Terrell Edmunds
Stock Value: Down
The Steelers are expecting—the Steelers are counting on—a display of significant growth all around from second-year safety Terrell Edmunds, who was their selection in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He started 15 of 16 games and did make progress throughout the year, but had not shown much of an indication that he could become a dynamic, impactful player.
He pretty quietly had a strong summer, however, and made some notable plays, particularly being aggressive with receivers at the catch point, but when it came time for the season to get underway, he struggled against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in ways he did not a year ago.
His biggest infraction was of course the failure to pick up wide receiver Phillips Dorsett as he split the safeties—playing with Kameron Kelly since Sean Davis was out injured. That was obviously a critical and costly play that had no business happening.
But he also overran a potential tackle attempt inside the 10-yard line after Josh Gordon got free on a crossing route because of a miscommunication that left him uncovered. When Joe Haden missed the tackle on Gordon, Edmunds should have been in position to clean up the play, but he let his momentum carry him past it.
Later, he also tried to lay a hit on Gordon on a deep pass down the middle of the field rather than intercepting it. He did administer the hit, but it still resulted in a catch, while he could have gone for a turnover.
The failures in coverage to pick up the correct assignment are what most concern me, of course, but perhaps there was some communication problems involved. There are always communication issues with every team early in the season, but the Steelers can’t afford for it to be a theme this year.