The regular season marks the culmination of an extensive investigation into who your team will be that year. By this point, you’ve gone through free agency, the draft, training camp, and the preseason. You feel good in your decisions insofar as you can create clarity without having played meaningful games. But there are still plenty of uncertainties that remain, whether at the start of the regular season or the end, and new ones continually develop over time.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Carlos Davis will be the team’s starting nose tackle whenever he gets back from the Reserve/Injured List.
Explanation: With the Steelers seemingly making Isaiah Buggs’ demotion official by placing Henry Mondeaux over him on the depth chart, it sets the table for Carlos Davis to return and play a larger role in the defense. In theory.
Henry Mondeaux’s ‘promotion’ was clearly more about the guy who was going in the opposite direction. Buggs was made a healthy scratch on Sunday, and the Steelers dressed a guy from the practice squad to play over him. It’s not like Mondeaux just played so incredibly well that he earned the starting job.
Davis was on an upward trajectory throughout his rookie season and showed a lot of potential. Then he had a good training camp, and a good preseason. And then he got hurt. Now that he’s on the cusp of returning, having been practicing for the past couple of weeks, he can step in back where he already would have been had he not been sidetracked due to health.
Any playing time Davis gets he’s going to have to earn. Mondeaux may be listed as the starting nose tackle, but Cameron Heyward is the one who played there. And they don’t play much nose anyway. A guy like Isaiahh Loudermilk is probably going to have a larger role.
Davis is just working his way back from injury. He’s got to prove himself all over again. It’s not like he’s an established veteran. And they just brought in a veteran in Montravius Adams. He’ll have to get up to speed in a hurry, but the presence of a guy like Adams will reduce the pressure to get Davis back into a larger role than he’s prepared for before he can handle it.