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Arthur Maulet ‘Ready To Prove’ He’s The Man For The Job At Slot CB

Last year after losing CBs Mike Hilton via free agency and Steven Nelson via release as a cap casualty, the Pittsburgh Steelers were in need of adding experience and versatility to the CB position. The team returned Joe Haden and Cam Sutton, but were relying on Justin Layne, James Pierre, and Tre Norwood to fill out the position prior to trading for Ahkello Witherspoon.

This led Pittsburgh to sign DB Arthur Maulet to a one-year deal shortly after the 2021 NFL Draft concluded. The 5’10″, 195 lb. defender went on to play 379 defensive snaps for Pittsburgh last season, with another 163 on special teams according to Pro Football Reference, totaling 47 total tackles (38 solo), five TFLs, a forced fumble, and a pass deflection. Maulet started two games in the slot for the Steelers in 2021 and re-signed with the team this offseason on a two-year pact totaling out at $3.825 million.

Pittsburgh has since shaken up its CB room, letting Haden walk, re-signing Witherspoon, and signing Levi Wallace in free agency. They also brought in DB Damontae Kazee, who has experience playing both in the slot and at safety, adding more competition at the slot defender position. Maulet hopes to play there again in 2022 after coming into his second training camp with the Steelers more prepared and ready for fight for the role.

“Last year was my first year playing inside,” Maulet said on Friday via video by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Chris Adamski on his Twitter page. “I had a big learning curve over the summer. I worked my butt off, and I’m ready to prove to the whole Pittsburgh Steelers Nation that I’m ready to play. “

Maulet mentions that last year was his first year playing inside when in reality, he had played at slot cornerback for 267 snaps over the last two seasons prior to coming to Pittsburgh, according to Pro Football Focus. Maulet probably meant that his time in the slot last season was more of his focus compared to his previous stops in the league, where he saw time playing at both outside cornerback and safety. Regardless, switching teams and adjusting to a new primary role can be a difficult transition for any player, hence why Maulet mentioned the big learning curve.

Still, while Maulet didn’t equate to the production Pittsburgh was getting out of Hilton when he manned the slot CB spot, he was able to provide a poor man’s version of what Hilton did, being a capable run defender and willing tackler near the LOS. If his recent workout videos are any indication, Maulet has put in the work this offseason to again duke it out with the other defensive backs in the room for the slot role in Pittsburgh’s sub-package defense this season. It will be a position battle that yinz should keep an eye on throughout training camp and during the team’s three preseason games this summer.

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