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: DE Tyson Alualu
Stock Value: Up
I’m surprised that it took me this long to get to him over the course of the past two weeks, given the circumstances, but here we are. In the wake of Stephon Tuitt’s season-ending injury, a pectoral tear, it is the 10th-year veteran, Tyson Alualu, who is the most direct beneficiary, as he will be absorbing the majority of the starter’s snaps.
Of course, he won’t solely be counted upon to be a one-for-one replacement for Tuitt. It wouldn’t make sense, because they are not the same sort of player. You can’t ask Alualu to do all the things that Tuitt does. And Alualu told reporters during the week that he doesn’t expect his role to change in light of the injury, other than to simply be on the field more frequently.
It helps that he is coming off one of his better games, though. He helped create a turnover, an interception by Devin Bush, after getting pressure on Philip Rivers and getting his hand up to bat the pass up in the air. He also had three tackles in the game.
At 32 years old, Alualu has told reporters that his body feels good, and even takes some pleasure out of hearing the complaints of the young linemen he goes up against in practice as he wears them down. One thing that he has always displayed throughout his career is durability, missing just one game due to injury.
And considering the fact that they’re not getting Tuitt back any time this year, that will be a pretty important factor as well. The only players that they have on the bench now are Isaiah Buggs and L.T. Walton. Buggs is a rookie who’s never dressed for a game. Walton is the guy they decided they could replace with Buggs. They just re-signed him—he was on the street before that—after putting Tuitt on the Reserve/Injured List.