Who will fill Stephon Tuitt’s shoes for the Steelers?
The Steelers took Buggs in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft. Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar had a hand in getting Pittsburgh to take a shot on him, and he made the most of it by making the Steelers 53-man roster.
Buggs was part of an Alabama defense that saw five players selected in the draft, including stud top-five pick Quinnen Williams. Being on the same defensive line as Williams really cast a shadow over Buggs.
Playing alongside Williams also had its perks, and Buggs took advantage tallying 52 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss (2nd on the team), and 9.5 sacks (led the team). Buggs likely suffered in the draft due to most attributing his numbers to Williams, taking most of the offensive line’s attention.
Now, in the NFL, Buggs may get an opportunity to produce, even if in a limited capacity. He has been inactive every week of his NFL career, but that may change after the Tuitt injury.
Buggs has a shot to be active in his first NFL game in week eight. The Steelers did sign L.T. Walton on Tuesday after moving Tuitt to injured reserve, but Buggs has the advantage of having played in the preseason and practicing every week.
Walton has a member of the Steelers since being drafted in 2015 but was released this season. He has not played in ten months, so Buggs should get the helmet at the very least in week eight out of the bye week.
Pittsburgh has a tall task ahead in filling Stephon Tuitt’s shoes, but they have the depth and talent to do it by committee. Hargrave, Alualu, Buggs, and even Walton, once he gets back in shape, should be able to contribute enough to help ease the loss, even if it takes all four to fill the shoes of one man.