In years past, the depth along the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive line has been pretty strong. While this year’s depth in the trenches on the defensive side of the football won’t match up with the depth that the Steelers once had when Tyson Alualu was in a reserve role, the young group of players vying for a roster spot behind Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and Alualu is creating great competition, which will improve depth across the board.
Against the Detroit Lions Saturday at Heinz Field, guys like Isaiahh Loudermilk and Isaiah Buggs looked strong in pushing for a roster spot.
Both Loudermilk and Buggs finished with two tackles each, while Loudermilk recorded a quarterback hit, though he was called for a roughing the passer penalty. Loudermilk continues to look like a young Heyward, while Buggs and Davis continue to show their versatility along the defensive line. Even a guy like Henry Mondeaux continues to show he belongs on the 53-man roster once again.
Though the names along the defensive line from a depth perspective aren’t big, the trio four guys battling for two true spots continue to catch the attention of Heyward, who talked about the young defensive linemen after the win over the Lions Saturday at Heinz Field.
“I think they have all showed something. Carlos [Davis] is continuing to grow. Not having a real rookie offseason, [Isaiah] Buggs has come a long way. Buggs is doing a good job of stopping the run game,” Heyward said to reporters. “[Isaiahh] Loudermilk is willing to learn, he’s going to have his hiccups but the way he takes in information is key for him. We just have a great group of guys. Chris Wormley coming back. We got the old guys up front, so we have a good group. It’s going to be kind of tricky when it comes to cuts and stuff because all of the guys, we have very deserving and are quite special guys and are very deserving because they play special teams, like Henry and Davis. So, you know, it’s going to be a dogfight at the end.”
Davis continues to show some versatility running down kicks on kickoffs, while Buggs and Loudermilk continue to flash at times throughout the preseason. The Steelers will have a tough decision on their hands come final cutdowns, but if the Steelers can sneak a guy like Mondeaux or Buggs onto the practice squad, depth will look even better coming out of the offseason.