Welcome to the first issue of the Steelers Stock Report in the NFL season 2020. I’ve had the excellent opportunity to try to determine which direction individual players or units are trending after each weekly matchup to the best of their ability.
I will try to make every decision without the use of my black-gold glasses, but I can certainly not make any promises.
Let’s get started…
Statistics can be misleading. Dupree in no way filled the state map Monday night against the New York Giants. He recorded neither a single sack nor forced turnover. I find that incredibly ironic because Dupree was the most dominant, disruptive defender on the field throughout the game.
I recognize that Dupree on several occasions enjoyed favorable matchups, even though they were blocked a few times, but it is still up to the player to make the opposition pay dearly in these situations, and Dupree did just that. He camped in the Giants̵
I would not suggest that Barkley will be haunted by visions of Dupree in his nightmare for the foreseeable future, but I’m sure he checked under his bed and in his closet for Dupree’s presence before climbing into bed Monday night.
If Dupree did not plaster Barkley in the backfield a nanosecond after receiving the handoff, he drove the superstar runner from behind. To me, the most impressive display of Dupree at night was not the incredible athleticism shown by a 270kg person, but the firm determination he showed to influence every single snap.
I have referred to Devin Bush’s ability to play side by side because of his speed and athleticism often in previous articles, but Dupree’s range is incredibly combined with that size and the non-stop engine.
Dupree made some series of moolah under the spotlight of Night Night Football.
It hurts me to write this because I’m a big fan of the young man, and it was clear to anyone who was aware of how hard Conner worked this season to report to camp in the best shape of his career. . Conner is the epitome of courage and determination, and his work ethic is undisputed.
This is what makes his tendency to nagging injuries so much more frustrating. No matter how hard he works to get himself in top physical condition, he has simply not been able to stay healthy and on the field.
Head coach Mike Tomlin remains resilient to a return after the committee scenario and expresses his faith and desire for Conner as the mountain cow back for the team, but even he has to see the handwriting on the wall.
It would be a shame not to use the talented career at his disposal. Benny Snell showed the improved speed and shortcomings that we heard were reported out of training camp and filled in admirably for the once again injured Conner. Snell enjoyed the first hundred games of his career against the Giants.
At the very least, Snell has earned more detail going forward this season, and the coaching staff needs to be encouraged by the potential he has shown.
The good news is that Conner’s ankle injury is not thought to be serious, more the nagging variety. Sounds familiar.
Conner has a real competition for touches of a Steelers offense filled with talented players for skill position. He either stays efficient and on the field or runs the real risk of being left behind.
Stock in limbo: Steelers offensive line
In the low season, I proclaimed that the Steelers offensive had lapsed greatly exaggerated. I still feel that way, but I’m certainly worried after Monday night’s match.
An offensive line must be a close-knit group, where chemistry and cohesion are invaluable elements of efficiency. Trust and confidentiality are key components.
Ramon Foster’s retirement was justified when he played dropped noticeably last season, but it inevitably affected offensive fraternity. The Steelers made the immediate decision to move documented artist Matt Feiler to fill the vacancy at left guard. I think the decision was made with the ideology of staying strong up in the middle because it is easier to provide outside help. The Steelers made the move early in camp to give the unit as much time as possible to gel. Zach Banner won a hard fought battle for the right tackle position. Tomlin expressed his confidence in the starting device and the depth available. This depth is being tested hard.
Already with the line RG David Decastro, inactive due to a nagging knee injury, the line struggled early in their first taste of live action. The line struggled to gain momentum in the running game, long a problem for a group better known for their athleticism than their brutal power, but the pass protection was subpar by their own standards.
Just as the offensive line began to find its rhythm, especially in the running game, the tragedy struck. One game after Stephen Wisniewski, Decastro’s replacement for the game, went down with a chest injury, Banner was lost for the season with an obvious ACL injury.
Now the Steelers have more questions than answers going forward on the offensive line. While there are no easy answers at first glance, the Steelers have no choice but to make the most of a less-than-ideal situation. The skill of Steelers coaching staff moving forward in terms of these decisions might just make or break a Super Bowl caliber season.