Bostic enters preseason as clear front-runner for starting ILB Spot
The Pittsburgh Steelers took necessary steps towards upgrading the secondary this past off-season. The Morgan Burnett signing was a great step in that direction and Pittsburgh’s new scheme of athletic hybrid players has lots of intrigue.
First-round pick Terrell Edmunds has been impressive with the athleticism he’s displayed and his ability to learn the defense so quickly where coaches feel he’s going to be a contributor early on.
If Joe Haden can stay healthy, they have something here.
Strides the Steelers have the potential to make in the secondary could become off-set by the inside linebacker position.
Reality for the Steelers is that they have three players for two spots who are more backup caliber types than legitimate starting inside linebackers.
And Steeler coaches know it. That’s why they’re trying to adopt a scheme that puts less priority on having two inside backers on the field at the same time.
Vince Williams is a backup and that was on display last season when Ryan Shazier was lost for the season. Shazier’s presence to roam the field hid so much, in particular for Williams. Tyler Matakevich might have the most upside of the three but as the Steelers enter the preseason Jon Bostic, a trusted veteran player, is the clear front-runner for the spot opposite Williams.
VIA Mike Prisuta of DVE:
[“The Steelers have clearly noticed something. Bostic opened every 11-on-11 drill with the first-team defense next to Williams from last Wednesday through Sunday (the Steelers were off on Monday). Bostic isn’t running behind Tyler Matakevich any longer, as had been the case since the outset of OTAs. Communication must have something to do with it. Bostic is an Arthur Moats-caliber orator, and that ability to communicate on a defense in need of communicators was praised when Bostic signed on as a free agent. Players and coaches have since observed and appreciated Bostic being heard from on the practice field with such regularity.”]