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Who Will be the Best Safety Tandem in 2019?

By Brandon J. Wallace
SteelerNation.com

  

Ok, ok. I know what you’re thinking. Eddie Jackson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of the newly revamped Chicago Bears… easy. Or maybe Derwin James and Jaylen Watkins of the Los Angeles Chargers? Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye (New York Jets), Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris (Minnesota Vikings)… the top predictions go on. But what if I told you that the best NFL safety tandem in 2019 will reside right here in Pittsburgh, PA. That’s right. I’m talking about Sean Davis and Terrell Edmunds.

Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Terrell Edmunds (34) gestures during an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

ThEsE gUyS cAn’T tAcKlE

In 2018, the Pittsburgh Steelers finished the regular season 6th overall in total defense (10th in pass, 6th in rush). This was largely due to the solid play of both Davis and Edmunds. In just his third season, Davis (25) led the team in tackles with 80 (59 solo), while in just his first year, Edmunds (22) finished second on the team with 78 (55 solo). Both Davis and Edmunds also finished tied second in interceptions on the team behind starting cornerback, Joe Haden. This is more than plenty to build on from just four years total experience between the two young stars.

 

BuT wHaT aBoUt AlL oF tHe PeNaLtIeS bEtWeEn ThE tWo?

The Steelers finished the 2018 season with 111 accepted penalties against them resulting in a loss of 1,026 total yards. Davis and Edmunds actually only accounted for just five of those total penalties (73 yards total). Those numbers are considerably good compared to the likes of a Derwin James (who had four total penalties by himself), and Tony Jefferson of the Baltimore Ravens who was tied for the lead amongst all safeties in the NFL with five total penalties alone. Some other notable safeties around the league were former All-Pro Tyrann Mathieu of the Houston Texans (4), and three-time Pro Bowler and lead-leading tackler amongst safeties (121/100 solo), Antoine Bethea of the Arizona Cardinals (4). Of course, “commending” a player for even just one penalty should be frowned upon (the goal should be zero), but you have to admit, both Davis and Edmunds rank pretty well vs. the rest of the league’s top safeties.

 

Ok, WeLl HoW aBoUt ThE bLoWn CoVeRaGeS?

I get it. I immediately think back to the Week 15 match up against the New England Patriots when Tom Brady hit a wide open Chris Hogan on a 63-yard touchdown with no defender in sight! I mean c’mon, where was the defense!? Don’t remember? Let’s take a trip down memory lane:

“Tomlin did put the blame on himself after the game. On the previous play, the Steelers made a late substitution and gave up a first down on third and short. Tomlin said he was arguing with someone, … and said the assignment didn’t get communicated properly. So it is possible the coaching staff screwed it up from the beginning.” – Steelers Depot

 

Of course, this is just one incident. Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin just may have been trying to protect his players with his above mentioned comments. Or, maybe it’s just still taking some time for our young secondary to gel? Also mind you, the Steelers only gave up three more points the rest of that entire game! One thing is for sure though, there were only seven teams to finish better than the Steelers in terms of plays 40 yards or more given up by the defense in 2018 (the Steelers only gave up seven of those all year compared to the league leading 15 from the Oakland Raiders and the 23 other teams in between). Either way, the fact remains that this safety tandem is one more year experienced together, and plays like this will become more of a blunder, not a reoccurring sight for sore (Steelers’ fans) eyes.

Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Sean Davis (21) makes an interception during an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, LA., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

 

The bottom line is that these two studs are primed for a phenomenal year. There’s no reason why Sean Davis and Terrell Edmunds can’t be ranked amongst the top safety tandems in the league… if not THE BEST. They’re young, they’re healthy, and they’ll ring your bell if you come across the middle. I see our forced turnovers increasing this upcoming season due to better communication and understanding of the defensive scheme, and I’m excited for our secondary as a whole. I believe they have what it takes to help us bring home Lombardi no. 7, while becoming the best NFL safety tandem in 2019.

Agree or disagree, let’s hear it! Post your thoughts in the comment section below!

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