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Steelers Defensive Line Shaping Up To Be Arguably The Team’s Deepest, Best Position Group In 2022

Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Steelers Defensive Line Shaping Up To Be Arguably The Team’s Deepest, Best Position Group In 2022

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense, and more specifically their ability to stop the run, wasn’t the same last season. Injuries played a large role in the downfall, but a few guys underperformed as well. While the retirement of star defensive end, Stephon Tuitt, didn’t help this off-season, the team has done everything they can to ensure those problems don’t continue into the 2022 season.

Steelers defensive linemen, Cam Heyward and Tyson Alualu, at 2022 training camp in Latrobe

Credit: Jordan Schofield/SteelerNation (JSKO_PHOTO Twitter)

Tyson Alualu is arguably the most important player that is returning from injury, as he provides stability on the interior defensive line. The run defense is noticeably better when he’s in the lineup. It should be noted that he’s now 35 years old and coming off a nasty ankle injury, so he may not be what he was a few seasons ago. In his return to practice on Monday though, he looked the part.

Elsewhere, the team signed Larry Ogunjobi over a month ago after his deal with the Chicago Bears fell through. It became the perfect signing to help mend the loss of Tuitt, as the team was able to get him for cheap. Staying healthy is his biggest priority, but if he can do that, he’ll be a major contributor. On Monday, he was disrupting the offensive line on nearly every play. As a result, head coach Mike Tomlin gave him high praise.

DeMarvin Leal has flashed his impressive intangibles in practice, and he’ll even be able to sit on the bench and learn from the Steelers veterans this season. That’s not to say he won’t see the field at all, but he’s currently listed as the third-string behind Ogunjobi and Chris Wormley. This will help him further develop, rather than being forced into action immediately.

Speaking of Wormley, the veteran provides a lot of experience after starting 15 games last season. While he’s currently listed as the backup to Ogunjobi, he is another solid piece. Despite being the fourth option, first off the bench, Wormley will still see plenty of playing time. Everyone already knows the impact that Cam Heyward has.

Digging a bit deeper into the team’s depth though, the Steelers have several options. Sophomore Isaiahh Loudermilk matured a bit over the off-season, and his play has reflected that in camp so far. Defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin, gave Loudermilk high praise earlier in the off-season. Austin noted that he expects big things from the defensive lineman this season, particularly after Tuitt’s retirement.

Montravius Adams continues to prove to be an excellent pickup by the Steelers last season, as they picked him up from the New Orleans Saints practice squad in late November 2021. He provides nice depth on the interior and is certainly capable to step up in the case of an injury. Doug Costin, signed from free agency a few weeks ago, has surprised some people in his short time with the team so far. While he’s unlikely to unseat any of the top seven guys barring injury, thus would likely leave him off the 53-man roster, he could be a perfect guy to put on the practice squad for further depth.

While their the least-known brother duo on the team, Khalil and Carlos Davis have the size and potential to be on a 53-man roster somewhere in the NFL. That’s unlikely to come with the Steelers though, as like with Costin, they are on the outside looking in when it comes to the numbers crunch. Now, with all of these guys, along with Henry Mondeaux and even Donovan Jeter, the defensive line could be the team’s deepest position in 2022. The wide receiver and safety rooms, and maybe even the tight ends, have an argument, but the defensive line presents a lot of versatility.

 

Are you guys confident that the Steelers run defense will return to form in 2022? What are your feelings on the team’s defensive line? Is it the deepest position group on the team? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, as well as on our social media pages!

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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!

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