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: It’s not often that you get an opportunity to add a veteran with experience off of somebody’s practice squad—really, it wasn’t possible before this year for anyone with more than two years of accrued experience—but that’s what the Steelers got in outside linebacker Cassiush Marsh, who could provide valuable depth down the stretch.
When the Steelers lost players at inside linebacker and needed depth, they traded for Avery Williamson. Knowing that they would need some reserves after losing Bud Dupree at outside linebacker, the Steelers were able to add veteran Cassius Marsh from the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad.
A former fourth-round pick all the way back in 2014 by the Seattle Seahawks, Marsh has played in 92 career games, though he has logged only nine starts, playing more than 1500 defensive snaps during that time. He played a career-high 550 snaps for the San Francisco 49ers in 2018, and more than 400 last year for the Arizona Cardinals.
With 175 tackles and 14 sacks in his career, along with five forced fumbles, he has a good amount of experience when you consider the circumstances under which he was acquired. As mentioned above, a player like him wouldn’t previously have been eligible to be on anybody’s practice squad, so he would have had to have been a street free agent.
Marsh also has about 1000 snaps on special teams over the course of his career, and he logged 12 snaps in that area for the Steelers on Sunday against the Colts, registering two tackles. He also saw 11 snaps on defense.
You should figure to see a good deal of him on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, and in the postseason, he can take some of the pressure off of rookie Alex Highsmith, who was thrown into the fire to take over the starting job after Dupree went down.