Home Steelers 2023 Season SCB Steelers 2023 Training Camp Preview – Safety

SCB Steelers 2023 Training Camp Preview – Safety

by Steeldad

It may seem like the Pittsburgh Steelers were just putting the cap on their 2022 season but believe it or not Training Camp is right around the corner. As the Steelers prepare for their trip East to Latrobe, we’re getting ready too. We’ll be previewing the 90 players participating at St. Vincent College position by position. In this article we look at the safety spot.

Currently on the Roster

Minkah Fitzpatrick – 6th year
Damontae Kazee – 7th year
Miles Killebrew – 8th year
Elijah Riley – 3rd year
Keanu Neal – 8th year
Kenny Robinson – 3rd year

Minkah Fitzpatrick

The tree-time All-Pro continues to be one of the vital cogs in the Steelers’ defensive machine. As great as he is, Fitzpatrick is even better when the players around him do their jobs and allow him to roam. He’s an excellent tackler and good cover man but he’s at his best when he can keep everything in front of him and see things develop. If he has to go back to a few years ago when he was making all of the tackles on running backs then he becomes much less of an impact.

2022 stats:
96 tackles
1 tackle for loss
11 passes defensed

Damontae Kazee

Kazee had a lot of expectations on himself before that unfortunate broken arm in the preseason. He is exactly the type of guy I was referring to above when I said Fitzpatrick can be even better when the guys around him allow him to roam. Kazee does that but he also does a terrific job himself of making plays on the ball. His health is really important in terms of allowing Teryl Austin to use a variety of specialty packages this year.

2022 stats:
20 tackles
2 passes defensed

Miles Killabrew

Entering his third season in Pittsburgh, Killabrew is the epitome of a Special Teams guru. His entire career has been built around being a standout in that department. He played in all 17 games last season and had just four tackles, down from 13 the season before. Is that a sign he’s starting to decline? Maybe… With the Steelers desperate for leadership and experience on STs, Killabrew likely hangs around while being used sparingly on defense.

2022 stats:
17 games
4 tackles

Elijah Riley

Riley entered the NFL in 2020 and has spent time with both the Eagles and NY Jets. He’s never appeared in more than eight games in a single season and will be fighting for a spot with the Steelers so he’ll need demonstrate he can play well defensively and on Special Teams. The former Army Team Captain is highly competitive and physical but he has limitations athletically.

2022 stats:
5 tackles

Keanu Neal

The Steelers really liked Neal when he was coming out of Florida back in 2016 so its no surprise to see him finally land here. When healthy, Neal can be an effective, big-hitting in the box safety. He was able to stay healthy last season during his one year stint in Tampa and he played well. With the Steelers not real sure what they have at inside linebacker, Neal’s presence as a dime backer could be significant in 2023.

2022 stats:
17 games (8 starts)
63 tackles

Kenny Robinson

Robinson was a fifth round selection by the Carolina Panthers in 2020 out of West Virginia. After appearing in 19 games in his first two seasons, he spent all of last season on the Panthers’ Practice Squad. He was dismissed from WVU prior to the 2020 season for academic violations so he played in the XFL. He’s long and fairly athletic and is widely known as a big hitter. He struggles in coverage however so that will be a big area of improvement for him.

Roster Projections

Fitzpatrick, Kazee, Neal, Killabrew

Robinson – Practice Squad

Riley – Cut

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