Now that the 2020 regular season 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 are seeing over the course of the season as it plays out. Who is making plays? Who is missing them? Who is losing snaps? Who is struggling to stay on the field?
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. 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 season as we move forward.
Player: OLB Cassius Marsh
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: Cassius Marsh, only weeks ago signed off of the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad, served as the Steelers’ number three outside linebacker when he was available to them, dressing over Jayrone Elliott in the playoff loss and playing ahead of Olasunkanmi Adeniyi.
There is never a guarantee of a continuation when a player is picked up off of another team’s practice squad late in the season, even if he finds a bit of tangible success. Just look at where we are with regards to Deon Cain and Kerrith Whyte, two guys the Steelers claimed in 2019.
Pittsburgh did add a couple more names off of practice squads late in the season this past year, and that included veteran outside linebacker Cassius Marsh, whom they added after Bud Dupree went down with a torn ACL.
He only dressed for two games for the Steelers—against his former team, the Colts, in week 16, and then in the playoff loss, having been on the Reserve/Covid-19 List for the finale—but he logged 11 snaps in Indianapolis, plus 13 on special teams, making two tackles.
After Alex Highsmith was injured in the team’s playoff loss, it was Marsh who played the bulk of the snaps, 46 on defense, playing ahead of Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, who is in his third season with the team, yet seemingly hasn’t made substantial progress as a defensive contributor.
What comes next for Marsh remains to be seen. Will the Steelers be interested in keeping him in the hopes that he can provide depth in 2021 and beyond? As a vested veteran, he will be an unrestricted free agent, but presumably, he will not come at a high price. He ended up playing in eight regular season games in 2020 with three different teams, generally not the resume of an expensive pickup.