The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.
They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom are starting.
There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Who deserves more playing time between Arthur Maulet and Tre Norwood?
While the Steelers lost a rather good player in Mike Hilton this offseason, they have perhaps stumbled upon a couple of players who can offer different skillsets and be assets to the defense, both added to the roster this offseason.
First, they drafted defensive back Tre Norwood out of Oklahoma in the seventh round. Shortly after the draft, they signed veteran free agent Arthur Maulet to a contract. Both players are capable of playing in multiple different spots in the secondary, which has helped them get on the field.
Norwood started off the season as the Steelers’ primary nickel, logging the majority of snaps, but has lately been more of a dime defender, seeing about 15 snaps per game. Maulet started off hardly playing at all, but is now playing more than Norwood.
Both of them, however, have been able to make plays for this defense. They may not be coming down with interceptions left and right, or anything like that, but they are using their intelligence to get stops. Norwood had three stops on third down this past week. Maulet has four tackles for loss on the season already.
Between the two, which of them should see the field more? Both would be asked primarily to play in the slot, with some work at safety, so that’s not a major distinction. Maulet has the edge in experience, though, while the Steelers and the NFL are still learning about Norwood and where precisely his strengths and weaknesses lie.