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Thread: So... do you feel good about the safety position after the draft?

  1. #41

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    Steelers S Sean Davis Able To Begin Participating In Team Drills On Tuesday

    By Dave Bryan
    Posted on June 4, 2019

    The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field Tuesday for their seventh OTA practice of 2019 and as expected, safety Sean Davis took part in the session after missing the first two weeks because of minor health issues.

    Davis said after Tuesday’s practice that he participated in team drills for the first time this spring earlier in the day and that he has previously missed practice time because of body stiffness, according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

    “Nothing major. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t putting my body at harm,” Davis reportedly said Tuesday.

    While Davis has been sidelined, new Steelers defensive back Kameron Kelly, who was signed after the AAF folded, was reportedly getting some first-team reps at free safety.

    Davis, who said last week that he’s yet to have discussions about a possible contract extension this summer, reiterated that again on Tuesday, according to Will Graves of the Associated Press. Davis reportedly did add that he has noticed that a few other safeties around the NFL received big contracts this past offseason.

    The offseason observations made by Davis were good ones as safeties Tyrann Mathieu, Landon Collins, Earl Thomas, Lamarcus Joyner and Adrian Amos are just a few players that were able to sign very lucrative contracts this past offseason. Even safety Kenny Vaccaro signed a four-year contract with the Tennessee Titans this past March that averages $6 million per season.

    As I wrote last week upon Davis saying that he planned to finally begin practicing this week, the Steelers former second-round draft pick out of Maryland is probably looking for a contract extension this summer that would result in him being in the top 15 highest paid at his position at the minimum. That means that Davis is at least looking for a new money average of at least $6.5 million and maybe as much as $10 million per season.

    To date, there’s been no indication that the Steelers have plans to sign Davis to an extension later this summer but that could change quickly. However, it’s a good bet that if Davis is ultimately signed to a contract extension later this summer that such a deal wouldn’t be consummated until right before the 2019 regular season gets underway.

    “It felt good to get back with the guys, flying around, making some calls, just getting back in the flow of things,” Davis said Tuesday.

  2. #42

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    Thanks for all your post Hawaiian.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (A 9 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks.
    Dolphin fans in the 90’s who wanted to hold on to Don Shula for what he did in the 70’s...

    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for what he did in 2008.


  3. #43

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    Tuesday, Jun 04, 2019 03:00 PM

    Back with a plan

    Mike Prisuta

    After joining his teammates on the field for the first time in OTAs, Sean Davis apparently wanted to glean everything he possibly could from the experience.

    He and Terrell Edmunds, the Steelers’ presumptive starting safeties, lingered and chatted long after today’s session had ended.

    They were out there together long after individual post-practice work on the Jugs machine had been completed.

    Long after every other player had retreated to the shade of the locker room at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

    “Yeah man, it’s been a while since we played together,” Davis explained. “Just choppin’ it up, talking about the year, talking about practice today and trying to get better.”

    Davis anticipates having a better feel entering his second season at free safety.

    His first campaign after switching from strong safety resulted in one interception for Davis and eight for the Steelers.

    “I was trying to get the hang of things, and maybe I was more focused on being the last man back there rather than playing aggressively,” he said. “But obviously one interception isn’t enough for me. How many did we have as a unit? Eight is not enough for all of us, that’s definitely been a point of emphasis.

    “For me personally, I’m just trying to get better, learn different angles, read the quarterbacks a little bit better and just perfect my craft. One interception is not acceptable, so definitely gotta get more than that this year.

    “I’m really excited to hone in on my free safety skills. I don’t want to say I was wingin' it last year, but was just learning by mistakes. Just to have another year under my belt and to have tape to watch to correct myself. We added Coach ’T.A.’ (senior defensive assistant/secondary Teryl Austin), who brings in a lot of different stuff. I feel like this year I can hopefully put it all together.”

    Davis and Edmunds are poised to become second-year holdovers on a defense that is undergoing a significant transition.

    Cornerback Steve Nelson and linebacker Mark Barron were signed in veteran free agency and the Steelers traded up 10 spots in the draft to select linebacker Devin Bush 10th overall.

    “The defense definitely needs to play better,” Davis maintained. “We lost a lot of games that we shouldn’t have lost last year, gave up too many points. It’s hard to shut teams out, but make them go by three (points) instead of seven. And no big plays, that’s really my big thing. And more turnovers, we need more turnovers.

    “So the defense definitely has an uphill battle this year but I know we can get it done.”

    Davis hadn’t taken part in OTAs prior to today because “my body just felt a little stiff,” he said. “Nothing major, though.”

    His eventual participation was apparently worth the wait.

    “It felt good to get back with the guys, flying around, making some calls, just getting back in the flow of things,” Davis said. “Today I felt good and it felt good to be back out there.

    “I see a lot of additions and I feel like we’ve upgraded. We’ve all just been getting better. We’re all progressing, making the proper steps to get to a championship defense.”
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  4. #44

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    Now Respected, Steelers S Jordan Dangerfield Still Doesn’t Take Any Day For Granted

    By Dave Bryan
    Posted on June 10, 2019

    It used to be cute to reference Pittsburgh Steelers safety Jordan Dangerfield as not getting enough respect in post and stories but that angle has now been overplayed at this point with the Towson product making the initial 53-man roster the last few seasons. While Dangerfield has more than earned the respect of Steelers coaches and fans of the team at this point of his career, he knows that he must continue to earn a roster spot every offseason.

    “That’s the first rule: Never get comfortable,” Dangerfield said last week during OTA practices, according to Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “There’s always somebody in life trying to take your spot. You’ve got to come out and prove it every day.”

    A backup safety and core special teams player the last few seasons, Dangerfield now looks to once again beat out several other younger safeties on the offseason roster this summer in the form of Dravon Askew-Henry, P.J. Locke and defensive back Kameron Kelly, who can play multiple positions in the secondary. While Kelly reportedly received some first-team reps at free safety during the first two weeks of OTA practices while starter Sean Davis was sidelined with a minor injury, Dangerfield also reportedly played some with the first-team defense as well and he feels he took advantage of them.

    “It’s been big,” Dangerfield said, per Gorman’s story. “I’ve been here. I know the defense.”

    Last season, Dangerfield, who first arrived in Pittsburgh in 2014 on a Reserve/Futures contract, played all of 76 total defensive snaps and his way to registering 5 total tackles on that side of the football. 49 of those snaps came in the regular season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals as he started that game in place of an injured Davis. Not only did Dangerfield play every defensive snap in that Week 17 game, he also had a team-high 19 special teams snaps in that contest. How’s that for earning your keep in Week 17?

    Dangerfield’s path to where he is now in his NFL career has included him being waived from a roster or cut from a practice squad a total of seven times. Last week during the final week of OTA practices, Dangerfield made sure to recognize the fact that not many other players would have had the metal fortitude to stick around as long as he’s been able to.

    “They would have folded,” Dangerfield said. “That’s why I’m different. I’m built different. I keep my faith. Every time I get an opportunity, I’m thankful and make the most of it.”

    If not for an ankle injury suffered during the Steelers 2017 preseason finale, Dangerfield would have likely been on the Steelers 53-man roster most, if not all of, the entire season. Instead, the Steelers had to waive him injured and eventually cut him with a settlement so that he could possibly return later in the season, which he ultimately did. Obviously with all that Dangerfield has gone through since entering the NFL in 2013 with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent, he doesn’t assume anything moving forward into whatever is now left of his professional football career.

    “I don’t take any day for granted,” Dangerfield said, “because I’ve been through the ups and downs, been through life without football – a whole year, a few weeks even when I was healthy – so all I’ve got to do is think about those hard times and I’m motivated every day.”

    With the Steelers mandatory minicamp set to start on Tuesday, it’s hard to envision Dangerfield ultimately not being on this year’s 53-man roster. After all, he’s a core special teams player and while his defensive playing time has been limited over the years, he can be trusted in the defense to be in the right spot. Obviously, one of the younger defensive backs could ultimately make Dangerfield expendable later this summer, it will be a tough chore to accomplish that feat just the same.

    Dangerfield, by the way, graduated from Towson University a few weeks ago and that’s a goal he’s been trying to accomplish for the last several years.

    “It’s a backup plan, something to fall back on after football,” Dangerfield said of him recently graduating. “Whatever I decide to do, I’ve got that in my back pocket.”

  5. #45

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    Safety - Do you think Danger's in danger? Not with all of the core special teamers they lost from last season. No, Jordan Dangerfield is a valuable reserve safety. We'll watch Marcus Allen try to fend off sleeper Kameron Kelly, but, again, it's another No. 4 or 5 spot.

  6. #46

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    Top Supplemental Draft Prospect Should Interest Steelers

    By Alex Kozora
    Posted on July 1, 2019

    Save for the 1984 supplemental draft conducted by the NFL as a fail safe for the possible – and eventual – collapse of the USFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers have never made a selection in the league’s “bonus” pool.

    Maybe that changes this year.

    At the least, there’s one player the team should be doing their homework on.

    Washington State safety Jalen Thompson announced he’ll declare for the draft after finding out he became ineligible for his senior season at WSU. The reason is unspecified but according to a statement provided by the Cougars, he violated NCAA rules.

    While most players who enter the supplemental draft are unlikely to be drafted with off field concerns that are generally greater than on-field talent, Thompson is likely to be taken by someone. A three year starter at free safety, he’s recorded six interceptions over the last two years while recording 11.5 TFL and recovering five fumbles.

    Though I’ll admit I haven’t watched his tape yet, outside sources are unanimous the talent is there. For Pittsburgh, there’s also a clear need. Safety depth is one of the weakest spots of the team especially at free safety. Backing up Sean Davis, entering a contract year himself, is Jordan Dangerfield. Safety was the one position the team failed to address during the draft and the UDFAs they brought in, neither of whom can be counted on to make the team, are strong safeties.

    If there’s a time to roll the dice, this is probably it.

    Of course, the odds are still going to be low, just as they are in trying to predict any one team in a situation like this. Pittsburgh shipped a 3rd round pick in 2020’s draft in order to move up for Devin Bush and might be unwilling to give up another “future” pick in the same offseason. Or maybe they get unlucky and another team jumps them. Supplemental drafts work the same as the main one. Teams go in order round by round, either picking a player or far more likely, passing on the chance to do so.

    Two players were taken in last year’s draft. The New York Giants burned a third round pick on CB Sam Beal while Washington used a 6th on CB Adonis Alexander. They were the first supplemental players drafted since 2015 but it sounds likely Thompson will join that list when the draft is held sometime in July. Last year, it was conducted on July 10th. (Update: It appears this year’s draft will also be held July 10th)

  7. #47

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    Colbert will do the homework and we’ll see what he comes up with.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (A 9 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks.
    Dolphin fans in the 90’s who wanted to hold on to Don Shula for what he did in the 70’s...

    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for what he did in 2008.


  8. #48

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    Jalen Thompson, S, Washington State

    Collegiate career: Thompson committed to Washington State as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports. He made an instant impact in Pullman, playing in 13 games as a freshman in 2016 and totaling 51 tackles with three tackles for loss and seven pass breakups. Good figures. The following year, most of Thompson's numbers jumped. He had 73 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, and recorded a pair of pass breakups. In 2018, Thompson again appeared in 13 games at safety and had 66 takedowns, three tackles behind the line, two picks, and he defended eight passes.

    Scouting report: Good height, smaller-ish frame for the safety position. Athleticism is impressive. Very fluid, non-jagged mover in any direction. Hybrid safety/slot cornerback with experience and effective play in man to man. Quickness is more impressive than his overall speed. Lack of size and strength shows up on occasion against bigger blockers in the run game, but he's a noticeably aggressive, active run defender with solid range. Plus body control, awareness, and ball skills to make game-changing plays in coverage.

    Projected draft range: Rounds 2-3
    I would not be willing to give up our 2020 2nd round pick in next week's supplemental draft (and we already traded away our 2020 3rd round pick, so that's not an option...and we can't trade the 3rd round comp pick everyone expects us to get for Le'Veon Bell, because we don't officially own that pick yet).

    However, I think I would be willing to part with our 2020 4th rounder if no one takes Jalen Thompson through 3 rounds of the supplemental draft next Wednesday.

    I think we very easily could have taken a safety in round 4 this year, but Chauncey Gardner-Johnson came off the board 3 picks into round 4, and then Amani Hooker was taken 6 spots ahead of our pick, so we determined that Kentucky RB Benny Snell was a better overall fit for us than the remaining safeties such as Miami's Shedrick Redwine or Alabama's Deionte Thompson.

    We don't usually dip our toe into the supplemental draft pool, but after not taking a safety at all in the draft a few months back, I think I would be willing to part with a future mid-round pick as insurance as we enter the last year of Sean Davis' rookie contract.
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by calmkiller View Post
    Dravon Askew-Henry played FS at WVU and is a solid pickup. If he wouldn't have tore his ACL a few years ago he would have been a drafted S after his third year. With Edmunds, and Davis starting and backup of Dangerfield, Askew-Henry and Allen available, we should be fine. If they were truly concerned about the position after releasing Burnett, we would have seen it. I think Askew-Henry was tha plan all along.
    Askew-Henry will be lucky to make the practice squad.

    Kameron Kelly was taking snaps ahead of him also and the Steelers won't be keeping 6 safeties.

  10. #50

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    Buy Or Sell: Steelers Will Carry A 5th Safety (And He’s Not Currently On The Roster)

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on July 6, 2019

    The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.

    That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

    The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.

    Topic Statement: The Steelers will carry a fifth safeties (and he’s not currently on the roster.

    Explanation: The Steelers seemed to show their hand about what they would like to do defensively when they carries six safeties on the roster to open the season a year ago. The dime became their most frequent package, and they even toyed with seven-DB looks. This year, they appear to have only four ‘solid’ current candidates to make the team at the position.


    This is a two-part buy, so it’s a little trickier. Feel free to buy the first half but sell the second half if you so choose. It’s not like there’s anything at stake here so there’s no reason to be strict with the rules. But anyway, yes, the Steelers have already shown that they definitely want to have at least five safeties on the roster.

    And no, none of the current safeties beyond the top four have really indicated that they could or should be that guy. The team is due for a preseason trade acquisition, and safety could be a likely target there, or they could get a player after cuts are made, as they’ve done in the past (Ross Cockrell is a recent example at cornerback). There’s also a safety coming out in the supplemental draft they could be interested in.


    The Steelers aren’t going to have more than four safeties on the field at the same time, so it’s a false assumption to think that they need five safeties to play three for the dime or dollar packages. You can play those packages with four, and Mike Tomlin has even specifically talked about Marcus Allen fore the dimebacker role.

    He has to go out and earn it, first, but there’s a good case to be made that he will, and that he’ll be given the opportunity to. Remember, this team likes him. They didn’t need him when they drafted him. They took him because he was that high on their board.

    And let’s also not forget that Tomlin talked about the cornerbacks having safety versatility. Specifically Mike Hilton and Cameron Sutton, but Brian Allen could move there too, assuming he even makes the roster. The odds of a fifth safety holding much relevance in 2019 are not favorable, so one shouldn’t be overly worried about it, nor expect the team to go out of their way to make sure they have one.


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