When it comes to interceptions, the rule amongst the Pittsburgh Steelers’ secondary seems to be just stay patient and wait your turn. Interceptions are being handed out at an incredible rate this season and one by one, almost every player in the secondary has been on the receiving end of a turnover. That is almost everyone except Terrell Edmunds.
Coming into Sunday night’s game, Edmunds and Steven Nelson were the only members of the secondary to play over 100-snaps and not record a single interception this season. Nelson would join the rest of his defensive backs midway through Sunday night’s contest, intercepting a tipped pass from Josh Allen, leaving Edmunds all alone without an interception.
Besides Edmunds, Artie Burns and rookie cornerback Justin Layne are the only Steelers’ defensive backs to not have an interception under their belt this season, though Burns has only played 66 defensive snaps while Layne has not played a defensive snap this season.
It has not just been interceptions that have been hard to come by for the second year safety but also turnovers in general. In 30 career games, Edmunds has just one interception and one fumble recovery to show for it. While the lack of turnovers during his rookie season was largely looked over due to the fact that the defense struggled with creating turnovers as a unit last season, his lack of ball-skills has stuck out like a sore thumb this year.
In fourteen games this season, Edmunds has failed to record an interception, forced fumble or even fumble recovery. His three passes defensed also rank behind the likes of linebacker T.J. Watt (7) and even Cameron Heyward (5). While there are no documented cases in the NFL, it seems that the former first round pick is allergic to the football as his lack of instincts have been a problem, especially over the last few weeks.
Edmunds failed to pick up on Tyler Kroft in the end zone on Sunday night, allowing the Buffalo Bills’ tight end to easily find his way into the end zone for the Bills’ game-winning touchdown. Being a second or even milli-second too late is nothing new for the safety, as last week’s touchdown pass from Kyler Murray floated right over his outreached hands after he was just a fraction of a second too late in reading the pass.
Sunday night was supposed to be the reunion of the Edmunds’ brothers and many were especially excited to see Terrell and Tremaine Edmunds, both first round picks last year, go head to head. Instead the differences between the two were further highlighted as the Bills’ linebacker sniffed out numerous of the Steelers’ plays, recording eight tackles, one tackle for a loss and a pass defense.
Even Trey Edmunds, a running back, has more interceptions than his brother Terrell this season, which is never a situation a player playing a position known for ball hawking wants to be in.
With nearly two seasons of work under his belt, the Steelers’ safety has little to show for it when it comes to being a playmaker. While there is no doubting his athleticism, Edmunds’ ball-skills or lack of ball skills is starting to become troubling. With two games left, Edmunds will have two more chances to join the interception club before he is infamously known as the man who could not get an invite to a party that seemingly anyone and everyone could have entered.