Training Camp is just around the corner, so there’s plenty to be excited about. Battles will be waged, and some players may either rise or fall on the depth chart depending on how well they or their comrades perform.
This is a crucial time for the younger generation of Steelers. This is where they test their mettle to see if they deserve a roster spot or are destined to be a cut casualty.
Each and every position will have some sort of competition, be it to take a back up spot or a starting gig. For these 2 players that appear on the list, its a chance to steamroll forward and make a difference on this team.
1) Shamarko Thomas: I can’t stress enough how important it is that Shamarko locks down the starting strong safety position. Its a role that was pretty much handed to him because of lack of depth.
Not doubting his skills at all, but he has to show what he can bring to the table. The heir to Troy Polamalu’s throne isn’t supposed to just lie around and be happy that he was practically handed the starting spot.
If he fails to be an adequate successor, the Steelers will get torn apart with long, vertical passes all season. It’ll kind of be like last season, but even worse.
Training Camp will provide a meter which we can use to measure how well Thomas will hold up during the actual regular season.
Thomas must utilize the training Troy has shared with him and prove himself to fan and coach alike. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to taking first team snaps against the best offense in the league.
I have faith Shamarko Thomas will take the leap and man his position for years to come.
2) Stephon Tuitt: Yes both players were on defense, unsurprisingly. Tuitt showed amazing potential in his rookie year this past season. The pressure is definitely on him to succeed like his teammate Shamarko. But unlike Thomas, Tuitt’s mentor is still on the team and very much continuing to tear up opposing offenses.
Cam Heyward will be instrumental in helping to coach up Stephon during Training Camp. Passing on his knowledge of the game will serve to further help Tuitt on his way.
Everyone knows what would happen if Stephon Tuitt regresses. Cam “The Totally Movable Object” Thomas will likely take his spot.
Tuitt will hopefully pick up where he left off at the end of last season. Going in guns blazing would be helpful, but just as long as he gets Tuitt. Ha! Get it? Eh, yeah that was corny.
These young players are imperative to the success of the Steelers defense. Whatever trial awaits them ahead, we can only hope they can triumph above it.