There isn’t much else to do while we sit here and wait for news about whether or not there will even be training camp, so it seems as good a time as any to bring back this series, in which we look to introduce some of the new players that the Pittsburgh Steelers have added to the mix since the end of the 2019 season.
The team added some notable pieces in free agency, which was important, because they didn’t have much to work with in terms of draft capital due to previous trades. They also made liberal use of the XFL’s closure, signing about as many players from there as the rest of the league combined. Even while claiming that they didn’t have a lot of roster room, they still signed a good number of rookie college free agents as well, enough that they had to release three players just to make room for them.
Since the Steelers could announce their roster cuts any day now, and I could be writing about a player as a new face in an article that publishes after he is cut, I’m hoping to stem the tide and start publishing the new faces column earlier, swapping places with the training camp battles series.
The next new face, continuing on with the rookie college free agents that the Steelers signed, is defensive end Josiah Coatney, a 24-year-old product out of Mississippi. While at Ole Miss, he started 35 of 36 games through his final three seasons, recording a combined 174 tackles with six and a half sacks, two forced fumbles, a recovered fumble, and a pass defensed.
During his time in college, he played in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes. While in the latter, he lined up as a defensive end, and that is the role that the Steelers will be asking him to play at 6’4” and a listed 325 pounds.
After the 2020 NFL Draft, Bleacher Report gave the team kudos for signing Coatney, whom they deemed as the best undrafted free agent that they signed, among the 10 that they added to the roster in addition to their six draft selections.
Still, it will be very difficult for him to make headway with the Steelers this offseason due to the depth that they have at the position. Among the defensive ends along, they already have Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Chris Wormley, and Isaiah Buggs returning from lasts season. Rookie Carlos Davis is also a candidate to play there as a seventh-round pick.
With the practice squad expanding to 16 players, it is likely that the team will carry at least two defensive linemen there, however, so he will have a chance to hang around.