4 Steelers that need to see less playing time going forward
While Steven Nelson had a pair of interceptions against the Eagles, his overall play has regressed so far in 2020. He has given up a higher completion percentage and more touchdowns this year than he had in 2020, and he has been one of the weakest defenders when asked to cover. Considering his struggles mixed in with the fact that the Steelers are about to face some superior passing offenses, Nelson needs to be used differently in the defense.
Nelson has played all but one defensive snap so far, meaning there is an opportunity to rotate him a little bit. The suggestion isn’t to bench Nelson, but perhaps have him play a different role on obvious passing downs. Nelson could be more of a coverage option in the slot and allow Cameron Sutton to man the outside a little bit. This would allow Mike Hilton to be more of a hybrid safety in these downs, one where he would play less in man and more in zone coverage or even blitz.
If his play doesn’t improve, giving Sutton some more opportunities could at least light a fire under Nelson. Again, he isn’t a player that will or should go from playing almost every snap to none of them but giving an underutilized Sutton some more playing time will at least show this defense is trying to counter their weaknesses. Nelson played great last year, but he has struggled heavily this year, and something needs to be done to fix this.