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
Just so we’re clear in this section, I’m still going back to the final game and primarily talking specifically about that. And in that finale, Tyson Alualu played yet another good game against the Baltimore Ravens—in spite of what it may look like statistically with the Ravens having all kinds of rushing success.
In spite of the fact that Alualu had nominally been the ‘starter’ to replace Stephon Tuitt since his injury back in Week Five, he had in actuality been typically seeing fewer than half the snaps in each game, more in the range of 40 percent, if now lower.
In the final three weeks of the season, however, his playing time increased, averaging about 60 percent of the snaps instead, and he saw a season-high 42 snaps in the finale representing 62 percent of the workload, also the high mark on the year.
It might not necessarily show up statistically, but aside from a missed tackle, this was another good effort, though not his best of the season. As a pass rusher, he offered little, which was typical enough, but the Ravens’ passing approach limited the opportunities for pressure as it was.
Alualu still registered four total tackles, including one stop. He has pretty consistently done a good job of being able to shed blocks and come off his man to make the tackle, and he did that a time or two against Baltimore.
The final stretch to end the year may have been some of the best football that he has played in a while, and that should be acknowledged. I think some were indifferent about re-signing him this past offseason due to his lack of impact as a pass rusher and his advancing age—he is the oldest defender on the roster—but he proved to be a valuable resource in 2019, and one that hopefully plays a much smaller role in 2020 due to the health of Tuitt.