It would figure that on the same day I wrote that free agency was ‘slow going’ for the Pittsburgh Steelers that they would actually get some things done and that was the case today. The Steelers added running back Knile Davis and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh today and in so doing added needed depth at two key positions.
My immediate reaction is that both of these signings are safeguards. Davis’ deal is for one year while Sensabaugh received a two-year deal.
In the case of Davis, he’s carried the ball just 46 times in 2015 and 2016 combined. Compared to Fitzgerald Toussaint, Davis is an upgrade as both a runner and a kick returner so his signing gives the Steelers a little more at each position.
Davis has only caught 34 career passes and just seven in the last two years so as a receiving threat he isn’t much of one. The more significant reason for Davis’ presence is the desperate need for a stable kick return man. He has 73 career kick returns and a career average of 26.8 yards per return. By contrast, Fitzgerald has just 15 career kick returns for an average of just over 21 yards per return. While five yards doesn’t sound like much, think of it in terms of starting at the 25 rather than the 20.
Sensabaugh has been a reserve for most of his career. In his five-year career, he’s started just 29 games, 15 of which came in 2015 when played for Tennessee. At 5’11” and 190 lbs, Sensabaugh figures to provide depth for the Steelers at a boundary cornerback position.
He has just two interceptions and 24 passes defended during his career so my expectations aren’t over the moon by any stretch.
Any thought that these two signings are drastically going to change things for the Steelers would be short-sighted. With Sensabaugh signing a two-year deal I expect him to have a better shot at making the roster than Davis. I really believe the Steelers will look to upgrade Le’Veon Bell’s replacement with a selection in the upcoming draft.
The signing of Davis also seems to end the tenure of DeAngleo Williams who struggled with injuries in 2016.
If the Steelers signed these two players with the intent that they will be major contributors then I’m seriously concerned about the state of things for the Steelers. That’s why I think they can still do better.
Photo courtesy: packers.com