Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, 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 season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
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: Up
In very typical and unsurprising fan culture, a lot of people have already written off Terrell Edmunds as a bust, with many already wanting to find a replacement for him in the starting lineup. This is in spite of the fact that he is only going into his third year, as a young player who was already playing earlier than he should have, and with changeover and chaos around him in the secondary.
As a rookie, he wasn’t even supposed to start, perhaps having a small role as a third safety behind Sean Davis and Morgan Burnett, but injuries for the latter forced him to play. Understandably, he had growing pains. Last year, Davis spent most of the offseason injured, so Edmunds ended up starting next to Kameron Kelly in the opener. Two weeks later, a new safety in Minkah Fitzpatrick is brought in, who has no more experience than he does.
Yeah, Fitzpatrick played great for the most part. But they also kept things relatively simple for him, and the other players in the secondary who had been there longer bore some of the brunt of making things as easy as possible for the new face to come in and play well.
Now, you have Edmunds and Fitzpatrick entering a full offseason together—even of much of it is virtual—but just to get on the same page, work things out, discuss playing philosophies and how to complement one another.
The entire secondary that ended last season, short of Davis, who was on injured reserve, and Artie Burns, who only factored into one game, is returning in 2020, and with that stability, Edmunds should have, finally, a great chance to take a significant step forward.
Maybe he never develops into a great starter. Maybe he’s merely average and gets the job done. But that’s enough. At a certain point you have to move past where somebody is drafted and evaluate them just based on what they bring to the field right now.