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Thread: With Terrell Edmunds Out, Curtis Riley Sees 1st Team Reps At SS

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    With Terrell Edmunds Out, Curtis Riley Sees 1st Team Reps At SS

    With Terrell Edmunds Out, Curtis Riley Sees 1st Team Reps At SS

    By Alex Kozora
    Posted on August 22, 2020

    Curtis Riley is arguably the second best FS on the roster with very few other options, seemingly brought on to add depth behind Minkah Fitzpatrick. But don’t discount Riley as the next man up at SS either.

    The PPG’s Brian Batko shared a worthwhile nugget of information in yesterday’s practice report. Riley reportedly had a good practice, including a pass breakup but it was where he was running that was most notable.

    “Signed by the Steelers at the start of training camp, Riley got a chance with the first-team defense in practice Friday afternoon and made good use of it, strong-arming a catch away from tight end Eric Ebron over the middle.”

    So that’s Riley running first team with Terrell Edmunds day-to-day with a minor injury. Meaning he leapfrogged Jordan Dangerfield, Marcus Allen, and Antoine Brooks Jr, all classic box types who fit best at strong safety. This info is worth an obvious disclaimer. It’s one practice, we didn’t get to see things for ourselves, perhaps there was a rotation of reps, and the team knows a lot more about Dangerfield and Allen. The more reps for Riley, the more they can learn about his strengths, weaknesses, and how he fits into the system. Asked by reporters about his place in the pecking order, Riley brushed the notion off, focusing on just making plays no matter where he’s at in the lineup.

    “I don’t really don’t care if I run with the ones, the twos and threes, whatever,” he said via “Whatever reps I get, I just got to do my job and make sure that I’m out there communicating to everybody. So it doesn’t really matter if I’m with the ones, twos or threes.

    But Riley’s promotion speaks to depth issues at the position. That a street free agent added right before the start of camp may end up being the team’s best option at either safety spot. Riley brings plenty of NFL experience Mike Tomlin cited yesterday, something the rest of the group doesn’t quite have. Jordan Dangerfield is the most veteran backup safety but has only logged 81 defensive snaps the last two years. Marcus Allen’s logged 17 defensive snaps while Brooks is a 6th round rookie who lost out on an entire offseason.

    Despite his late arrival to the team, that may give Riley the edge heading into the season.

  2. #2

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    Steelers Increasingly ‘Getting Excited About’ Curtis Riley With Each Passing Day

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on August 25, 2020

    It’s not all the time that a team is able to pick up a veteran player in training camp who had not been with a team all offseason and have that guy come in and make an impact—or at least a serious push for a roster spot. But since training camp opened, the Pittsburgh Steelers have picked up a couple of guys who have a legitimate shot to make it into September.

    The safest bet seems to be Curtis Riley, a free safety most recently with the Oakland Raiders last season, but who is best known for his season with the New York Giants in 2018 in which he was a 16-game starter. While not a high-level player, he has that experience and can function as valuable depth in an area of the roster in which the team is thin.

    Defensive backs coach Tom Bradley spoke about the Fresno State product before practice yesterday. The third-year position coach said of his newest defensive back, “I think Curtis can help us from a depth standpoint”.

    “He’s one of the guys that each day has shown a little bit more and more, and we’re getting excited about him as we continue through this process of watching him”, he added. “One of the things that’s difficult obviously about this preseason, is the fact that we don’t have the game simulations. So through drill work and things of that nature, we’ve got to try to simulate as best we can, how we’re going to play. But he’s been impressive so far in camp and we’re looking forward to seeing how he can keep this thing going for the next few weeks”.

    A former undrafted free agent, Riley’s contract with the Raiders expired at the start of the offseason. No doubt strongly affected by the pandemic, much like running back Wendell Smallwood, he went without attracting much of any attention during the offseason until teams began reporting to training camp, with the Steelers coming in and adding him.

    Pittsburgh’s depth at free safety can be fairly said to be lacking. Behind the starters, the only safety on the 53-man roster on opening day last year who is still with the team is Jordan Dangerfield. Marcus Allen also returns after spending most of his second season on the practice squad, while Antoine Brooks, whom general manager Kevin Colbert described as half-linebacker, was picked up in the sixth round.

    There is nothing definite, but many on the sidelines view Riley as something close to a lock to make the team in addition to Dangerfield as a core special teams player, with Allen and Brooks competing for a fifth and final safety spot on the roster. Of the entire group behind the starters, Riley is the only reserve safety whose skill set is better-aligned to playing the deep safety role.

  3. #3
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    So far so good,.

    The knock on this guy was his tackling and angles, not his ball skills. Not sure they can test the tackling that much in camp compared to games.

    But I will say this, he makes the depth seem much more better.
    “I’m so tired of Le’Veon," DeCastro told reporters (h/t ESPN's Jeremy Fowler ([url][/url])) after Sunday's game. "I’m so tired of it. Let’s just worry about the guys in here. I know you guys have stories to write and what not. I love Le’Veon, but we gotta worry about the guys in here. They’re the only people that matter to me."

  4. #4

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    Not sure I'm "excited" about a DB who has tackling issues. He will have to make tackles more than intercept passes

  5. #5

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    I'm willing to see what he has and if he's improved. Because I'm exhausted by Edmunds and want to upgrade at that position.
    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 playoffs in the 70’s...
    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for what he did in 2008, with Cowher's players & coaches


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