Pittsburgh Steelers High School is going through some transformations as the 2022 season approaches.
Much like last season where the team lost Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson, the team will likely be heading to see a major shareholder leave with long-running CB Joe Hadden not being tempted to bring him back. However, unlike last season, Pittsburgh added some depth in quality to both the CB and S locations, re-signing with Terrell Edmunds and Ahkello Witherspoon while also adding Levi Wallace and Damontae Kazee via free agency.
When asked after rehearsal how the playmaker’s position during online travel agencies and the mandatory mini-camp gives “uncertainty” in the room with three capable players in the fold plus Haden out of the group, Edmonds praised the ongoing competition with Witherspoon, Wallace, and Cam Sutton.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t really call it uncertainty,” Edmonds Reporters via the team site. “I just call it dogfighting now. Everyone is competing, but we have some really good guys competing. Yeah, we had an atmosphere [Haden]. He was the older guy, but now we have a bunch of different guys competing, trying to see who’s going to make that move at the beginning of this week, the beginning of next week. And we have three guys… we got all the guys who can start.”
Edmunds tried to catch himself at the end of his quote to give credit to the other central bankers in the room, but as we’ve all been expecting for some time now, Edmonds alludes to Witherspoon’s “three men”, Wallace, and Sutton’s “juniors” and they are in a fierce competition to see how to get the starting nod from The outside in Pittsburgh’s base defense and how the CB hierarchy vibrates when Pittsburgh goes to the sub-package in their nickel-and-dime defenses.
A similar question was asked to Levi Wallace and he was mentioned as competing with Witherspoon and Sutton, being moved by the coaching staff to cross training sites and learn both inside and out to see who picks up the defense and who feels comfortable where.
Levi Wallace on the CB competition: ‘Our coaches are spinning among us now’
By the sound of things, Wallace and Edmunds lead that CB’s battle at the top of the depth chart can be fierce when training camp rolls around. All three corners are sure to be involved in some way when Pittsburgh turns nickels with two playing on the border and one in the slot. However, the competition to be the “junior” at the base will be noteworthy and may likely dictate who plays the inside with nickels.
Alex Kozora noted Witherspoon and Wallace playing on the outside corners with Sutton kicking from the inside to the nickel hole, but also noting that Wallace and Sutton are more consistent in supporting the running, which could indicate Witherspoon might be the next man of the court at the base. Whatever the room looks like in terms of who the regular season starters are, Pittsburgh has done a fine job of filling a talent-packed CB room through the 2021 season. Based on feedback from Edmunds, Wallace, and the coaching staff, CB’s fight should be one we’re watching closely as soon as possible. Camp opening in La Trobe in late July.