SteelerNation.com

Why Pittsburgh Will Rank Amongst the Top 5 Defenses This Season

By Jared Villani
SteelerNation.com

While Baltimore and Cleveland have had plenty of buzz circulating their rosters heading into the 2019-20 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have quietly built a potentially terrifying defensive unit as the season approaches. A balance of speed, strength, and toughness is prevalent amongst this group and they could easily build off the success they had last season.

Pittsburgh’s off-season additions of free agent signees linebacker Mark Barron and cornerback Steve Nelson, along with rookies Devin Bush and Justin Layne, could push the defense further into the elite category. While the rookies may not take over the scene immediately, these two have game-breaking potential and may see a large number of reps earlier than some may anticipate. In addition, Nelson may be the missing piece in the secondary to help take pressure off Joe Haden‘s side of the field.

T.J. Watt, Javon Hargrave, and Terrell Edmunds ended last season on a high note, but Edmunds could become the biggest difference maker as the secondary is the unit’s weakest area of recent years. Edmunds’ versatility complements several players on the team including Watt, whose shocking speed and strength off the edge proved to be a nightmare for quarterbacks last season.

Along with Hargrave, Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt have produced one of the league’s most feared run stopping forces. The strength of the defensive line was one of the toughest units for opposing running backs to do any kind of damage against.

The team did their due diligence by adding necessary pieces to the defense through the draft and free agency. If the secondary can get in tune with the defense’s front seven, the Steelers will find themselves amongst the rest of the league’s elite defensive units.

Let us know where you think the Steelers defense will finish this year in the comment section below!

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