On Tuesday, HC Mike Tomlin spoke to the media in his weekly press conference where he talked about the state of the team at the halfway mark of the 2022 season coming off the bye and previewed the team’s upcoming Week 10 matchup on at home Sunday against the New Orleans Saints who are coming off a home loss to the hands of the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.
When Tomlin was asked about the availably of DB Arthur Maulet in a secondary that has undergone a fair number of injuries, Tomlin commended his slot/nickel defender for the play he has provided the defense now in his second season with the team.
“Man, he’s really good in first and second down football blitz and run game,” Tomlin said on Najee’s previous injury to the media Tuesday on video from the team’s YouTube channel. “He’s a solid tackler. His level of communication and the quality of his communication really is dramatically improved, and I think that’s a reasonable expectation from year one to year two, this being year two, being a contributor for us. And I think that’s been evident in his play and in particularly when he’s in there to this point.”
Maulet has played in all eight games to start the 2022 season, having started in five of them as Pittsburgh’s nickel/slot defender. Having played 303 defensive snaps this season (54%), Maulet has made 27 total tackles (18 solo), one TFL, one sack, one forced fumble, and one PBU. As Tomlin mentioned above, Maulet is particularly excels as a run defender, having the physical demeanor to come downhill in a hurry and put his full body on the line in attempt to make the tackle. He picked up a key strip sack in Pittsburgh’s Week 1 victory in Cincinnati, replicating similar play that former Steeler and current Bengals CB Mike Hilton provided during his time in Pittsburgh.
Arthur Maulet plays with an evident fire and passion for the game of football. He notably called out the locker room after Pittsburgh’s embarrassing loss on the road in Buffalo, watching players laugh and smile on the sidelines after getting humiliated in a blowout. He didn’t speak to reporters directly after the game, but later mentioned that he challenged the players to find their “why” in terms of why they play the game of football and use that as their motivation to play better than they had up to that point.
Arthur Maulet may not be one of the most talented players on the roster, but he has become a glue guy in the locker room, being that energizer bunny that the other players can look to in terms of leadership and how to carry themselves out on the field with passion to do what they do. Tomlin notices the improvement in his play from Year One to Year Two as well, being more vocal and a better communicator in terms of his execution.
Given that Maulet signed a two-year contract extension this past offseason, it appears that Pittsburgh did the right thing bringing him back as an impactful locker room guy to help set the culture the organization desires to have while also making meaningful contributions out on the field.