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: DE Chris Wormley
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: Even though he is a veteran, Wormley is stepping into a new environment and a new defense in Pittsburgh. He has not even had the opportunity to step on the field with any of his teammates yet, and the Steelers seem to be planning on relying on him this year as the third defensive end.
Considering the fact that Wormley has never really been more than a rotational player, and the fact that the Steelers have relied upon Tyson Alualu to be a significant rotational player and spot starter in the past three years, it’s a big deal that the former hasn’t had a proper offseason to adjust.
With Javon Hargrave gone, Alualu is basically moving to nose tackle. The Steelers trade for Wormley for a reason, and that reason was apparently to take over as the top reserve defensive end to rotate in behind Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. But he hasn’t been able to do anything but learn over Zoom.
Not that the Baltimore Ravens’ scheme is going to be worlds apart, but every new thing is an adjustment. Stefen Wisniewski is far more experiences than Wormley is as an NFL player both in terms of tenure and playing time, and even he has acknowledged that this offseason has gotten him behind where he would like to be in some ways.
That’s inevitably going to be true for Wormley as well, or rather, undoubtedly is. The question is how much longer he will be limited. Will there be a preseason? Will training camp open on time? (This was written on Thursday morning, so forgive me is something changes between then and the time this publishes).
The other defensive end is Isaiah Buggs, who played something like 60 snaps last year as a rookie. He’s not going to be any better prepared for the role than is Wormley, so they are relying on him to be ready to do the job he was brought in to do. A task everyone who has changed teams this offseason is facing.