The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 offseason practices concluded last week and next up for the team is their annual training camp, which should get underway in the latter part of July at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. Ahead of Steelers training camp getting underway, we will preview the team’s offseason roster three players at a time for you as part of a 30-post series. This Steelers roster preview, which includes outlooks for each player, will be done alphabetically by last name to make it easy to follow along with.
The first three players we will preview ahead of Steelers training camp are Montravius Adams, Marcus Allen and Tyson Alualu.
NT/DT Montravius Adams: Adams who was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of auburn, was originally signed off the practice squad of the New Orleans Saints in late November of last season. Adams was put right to work away after joining the Steelers as he played in five of the team’s final six regular season games. He also played in the team’s Wild Card loss as well. In the 171 defensive regular season snaps that Adams played in last season for the Steelers, he registered eight total tackles, three quarterback hits and a pass defensed. He chipped in another two tackles and a sack in the team’s Wild Card loss as well. While he did play a little on special teams last season, Adams was far from being a core player. The lone game that Adams missed as a member of the Steelers in 2021 was due to him being on the COVID-19 list.
Outlook: While Adam certainly didn’t set the world on fire late last season, he did play well enough to warrant the Steelers re-signing him to a two-year, $5 million contract this past offseason. Now back under contract again, Adams will more than likely backup Tyson Alualu on the Steelers defensive line in 2022. Adams has some position flexibility that should allow him to get some sub package snaps and occasionally play outside in the base defense. That said, he is best suited to play closer to the center, if at all possible. Adams received a $1.465 million signing bonus as part of his new deal so odds are good he’ll stick on the 53-man roster later this summer as one of six or seven defensive linemen kept
ILB Marcus Allen: Allen, who was originally selected by the Steelers in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Penn State, is back again this offseason after being issued an original round restricted tender. As a core special teams player for the Steelers in 2022, Allen registered six total tackles on those units. Additionally, the safety-turned inside linebacker played 62 total defensive snaps in 2022 on his way to registering seven more total tackles. More than half of those defensive snaps came in week 17 against the Cleveland Browns because the Steelers were down inside linebackers. The one game that Allen missed in 2021 was due to him being on the COVID-19 list. He did play in the Steelers Wild Card loss last season and chipped in on two tackles in that contest with one coming on special teams. In coverage last season, Allen was targeted eight times in total. He allowed four catches for 52 yards and that includes the playoff game.
Outlook: Allen will once again have an uphill battle ahead of him this summer in training camp when it comes to his chances of making the 53-man roster. The Steelers have quite a few inside linebackers battling for roster spots this offseason with two of those players being notable additions in veteran Myles Jack and rookie Mark Robinson, a late-round draft pick this year. Also back this summer battling for roster spots are Robert Spillane, Buddy Johnson and Ulysees Gilbert III. Devin Bush is also expected to be one of the inside linebackers on the 53-man roster as well. Allen is a good and trusted special teams player and that will help his 53-man roster cause overall. He is not much of a defensive asset, however, so if the team can find special teams replacement for him in one of the younger inside linebackers, he might could be late cut because of his $2.54 million salary he is due to earn.
NT/DT Tyson Alualu: The Steelers didn’t get much out of Alualu in 2021 due to a Week 2 ankle injury that wound up shelving the veteran for the season. In total, Alualu played 57 defensive snaps before suffering his 2021 season-ending injury. He contributed just five total tackles in roughly six quarters of play to go along with one quarterback hit. The Steelers really missed Alualu in the middle of their defense in 2021 and especially due to the way that he had played in 2020. Back healthy again, Alualu is set to earn $2.5 million in 2021, which could wind up being his final season in the NFL.
Outlook: Baring another injury, Alualu figures to be the Steelers starting base defense nose tackle in 2022. The hope is that he can play in 2022 like he did in 2020 when he registered 38 total tackles, two sacks, five defensed passes, a forced fumble and five quarterback hits. Alualu is position flexible and he can provide the defense some sub package snaps. He is likely to be backed up by Adams in 2022 and thus could see his workload decreased a little to help keep him fresher as the season progresses. Alualu played 448 total defensive snaps in 2020. While he isn’t likely to see that amount of snaps in 2022, he could easily log between 350 and 400 in total.