2022 South Side Questions: Will Mark Robinson Get Marcus Allen’s Helmet?

The Steelers are at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility, nearing the end of the regular season. It’s where they otherwise train all year round, and the facility that Burt Lauten insists everybody refers to by its full name.

There are still unsettled questions that need answering, even deep into the year. They entered the process with questions in the starting lineup, in the scheme, and elsewhere, but new problems always arise that need to be resolved.

Even questions about who’s starting and when may not have satisfactory answers in their finality, as midseason changes are certainly quite possible, for some positions more than others. We’re also feeling out how the new coordinator posts—or posts in new contexts—end up playing out.

There’s never any shortage of questions when it comes to football, and we’ll be discussing them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.

Question: Will Mark Robinson get a helmet for the final two games following Marcus Allen’s injury?

Steelers fans have had mixed emotions about following the team’s playoff chances—not just because they are perilously slim at best, but also because few believe they could make a concerted effort to push for the Super Bowl.

That’s one of the reasons there has been some focus on players like Mark Robinson, a rookie seventh-round pick who had a good preseason and whom people want to know more about. He has spent most of his rookie season on the inactive list as a healthy scratch because he remains defensively raw and did not establish himself as a ‘starter’ on special teams.

Part of the reason is because the Steelers’ other reserve linebackers are all mainstays on special teams, and you can’t dress everybody. But he has gotten a helmet a few times when injuries have provided that opportunity, most recently a couple of weeks ago when Myles Jack was sidelined.

With Marcus Allen done for the year, though, there is an opening. A core special teamer, he had dressed for every single game leading up to his injury, so that’s one gameday helmet that will be available. He may be the most likely recipient, but that depends on how other matters shake out.

With Elijah Riley now on the 53-man roster, he could dress as an extra safety assuming Terrell Edmunds is also back. Now Ahkello Witherspoon is working his way back and could be activated as early as this week.

The Steelers signed linebacker Tae Crowder to the 53-man roster when they moved Allen to IR. A third-year veteran, he is an experienced defender and has time logged on special teams, including 160 snaps this year, so they could decide to dress the new guy over their rookie as well if they are comfortable with his familiarity of their system.

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