Now that the regular season has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the offseason and the regular season as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. 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. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: CB Arthur Maulet
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: While he has not been given many opportunities to get on the field, defensively, the veteran defensive back has managed to make his share of plays, as he did this past Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
Arthur Maulet has played 54 snaps on defense for the Steelers so far this season, with the majority of them coming on Sunday in Green Bay. He has eight tackles in those 54 snaps, and three of them have come behind the line of scrimmage.
Two of those tackles for loss came on Sunday, including a first-and-goal play from the five-yard line in which he brought down running back Aaron Jones looking for the left edge for a loss of three. The Packers ultimately settled for a field goal. He also had a tackle for a loss of two yards earlier in the game.
He ultimately played one more snap than did James Pierre and Tre Norwood combined, which is perhaps a sign that the coaching staff is beginning to see him making plays and settling in on him being their best option for their top nickel defender.
We don’t know until we see more, however. This is a team this year that has really emphasized schematic matchups versus opponents, which can mean that playing time can vary quite a bit for individual players from game to game.
Still, as far as the secondary goes, nobody has had as much of a per-snap impact as Maulet so far, who was signed for the veteran minimum shortly after the draft. It wasn’t even clear at that time if he would make the team, but now he may be their top nickel defender.