Bringing back a series I had a lot of fun exploring the last several offseasons. Every player wants to improve, to elevate his game in all areas from one season to the next. Understanding that, we’re going to isolate just one area, one faction of a player’s game. The biggest area for improvement.
Marcus Allen – Make A Summer Special Teams Impact
It’s do or die for Marcus Allen’s career in Pittsburgh. If there’s any position ripe for the taking, it’s backup safety and Allen is in that mix. Unfortunately for him, his first two years in the league have been uneventful.
As a rookie, he played 30 total snaps, actually seeing more on defense – 18 (mostly in the Chargers debacle) than the 12 he logged on defense. A quiet season but that fell in line with expectations.
Last year was a step back. He failed to make the 53 man roster out of camp, shuttled to the practice squad in favor of Kameron Kelly, and was only promoted to the 53 when Kelly was arrested and booted off the roster. Allen ended up playing just seven special teams snaps in 2019.
So through two years, he’s logged a total of 37 snaps. There’s still Jordan Dangerfield, a trusted veteran and the team added Antoine Brooks Jr. in the draft, someone taken primarily for his special teams value. So if Allen is going to compete with those two, he’s gotta step things up on football’s third phase.
Even including the preseason, Allen’s only recorded three total special teams tackles as a Steeler. Tackles can be hard to come by and you can still be a good special teamer and play well without tackles, it’s about positioning and technique as much as anything, but him making some splash plays this summer will do him a lot of good for getting back on the roster.
That’s his path to the 53. We’re not talking about him potentially competing for a SS spot or some sort of hybrid, dimebacker role like we did when he was selected in 2018. He’s gotta scratch and claw his way onto the team just like all the other guys he’s competing with. Allen is no longer on scholarship, if he ever was in the first place, and he’s in a real battle for the 53. If he can’t make it for the second year in a row, even with an expanded practice squad, it’s hard to make the case for him sticking around in any capacity.
One Step To Take Archives
Terrell Edmunds – More Splash Plays
Jaylen Samuels – More Explosive Receptions
Diontae Johnson – Ball Security/Better Hands Over The Middle
Maurkice Pouncey – Consistent, Accurate Snaps
Christian Scotland-Williamson – Make Plays In Stadiums
Zach Gentry – Improve Pad Level As Blocker