2022 Offseason Questions: Can Somebody Challenge Chris Wormley For Starting Role?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.

This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.

Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.

These are the sorts of topics 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: Can somebody challenge Chris Wormley for the starting job vacated by Stephon Tuitt?

Chris Wormley started 14 of 15 games last season, missing two games late in the year due to injury—double the amount of starts he has ever had in a single season before. He technically did not start the opener since they opened in a nickel defense with Tre Norwood on the field, but for all intents and purposes, he started that game too.

This was all unexpected, of course, at least until it became clear that they would have to put Stephon Tuitt on the Reserve/Injured List. Now that Tuitt is retired, and they have a few months to work things out, could there be other arrangements for the starting lineup by September?

One possibility, though one I don’t consider likely, is to have Tyson Alualu move back to ‘end’ in 3-4 fronts while having Montravius Adams serve as the primary nose tackle. The more likely possibilities would be direct challenges from the Steelers’ last two defensive line draft picks, Isaiahh Loudermilk and DeMarvin Leal.

Loudermilk is going into his second season, so would arguably be more likely. But for practical matters, we are more likely to see a heavier rotation than actually seeing one player command a dominant number of snaps across from Cameron Heyward. Minus Tuitt, I think that would probably be expected, provided that they are comfortable with the talent that they have on hand that would be asked to deliver those snaps.

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