The Pittsburgh Steelers spent much of the 2015 off-season trying to find answers for their depleted secondary.
With the losses of longtime veterans cornerback IkeTaylor and safety Troy Polamalu the Steelers secondary became somewhat of a mystery.
The Steelers attempted to address some of their secondary needs in the 2015 NFL draft by taking cornerback Senquez Golson in the 2nd round, cornerback Doran Grant in round 4 and safety Gerod Holliman in the 7th round.
None of these draft picks made an impact during the preseason with Golson never even seeing the practice field during training camp, as a shoulder injury early in off-season workouts derailed his rookie season.He has been placed on the injured reserve list for the rest of 2015.
Grant was cut before the first game of 2015 and later added to the Steelers practice squad.
Holliman was cut during the preseason and has never returned.
To make up for the loss of Golson, the Steelers traded with the Philidephia Eagles for cornerback Brandon Boykin.
Boykin showed some promise during training camp but mysteriously saw no playing time in the secondary in week one against the Patriots.
So as you can see, the Steelers have not exactly seen results in their recent attempts to address their secondary woes.
To make matters worse, the players the Steelers had counted on to step up in the secondary in 2015 have failed to do so.
The Steelers traded up to round 4 of the 2013 draft to acquire safety Shamarko Thomas with the plan being he would someday be Troy Polamalu’s replacement.
That plan has yet to materialized.
Thomas, heading into his third season, was penciled in as the starter going into the 2015 training camp. A horrible showing during the preseason has sent him tumbling down the depth chart. He never seen a single snap in the Steelers secondary during game one vs the Patriots. He is now listed as Will Allen‘s back up on the depth chart, even though special team safety Robert Golden replaced Allen in week one.
The Steelers also invested a 5 year contract worth $26 million in cornerback Cortez Allen in 2014 only to have him benched by mid season that same year . Allen lost his 2015 preseason battle to cornerback Antwon Blake
Blake started game one. However, he did little to secure his spot and now both Blake and Allen are listed as co-starters going into week two.
Both players have failed to show consistent above the line play as starters, leaving the Steelers wondering which is the lesser of the two evils.
On top of all this,2014 free agent safety Mike Mitchell has yet to live up to the high expectations the Steelers were expecting when they signed him. Mitchell played injured much of 2014 and missed a big portion of the 2015 preseason due to injury.
The Steelers secondary looked very confused and baffled during much of the season opener against the Patriots, allowing 19 straight completions at one point.
The Pittsburgh Steelers secondary began the off-season as a mystery and not much has changed as we head into week 2 of the regular season.
The only thing we know for sure is this Steelers secondary needs to step up their play big time and in a hurry.
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