4 scenarios of how the Steelers could replace Bud Dupree
The Steelers defense in 2020 is one of the best defensive units they have fielded in a long time. Possibly as good as any squad fielded in the ’70s.
They may not have all of the potential Hall of Famers that the ‘70s squad had, but their consistency has kept the Steelers undefeated at 11-0, and they are the first defensive squad to lead the NFL in sacks, takeaways, and the least points allowed. Something the Steel Curtain of the ‘70s never did.
When Devin Bush tore his ACL. Many wondered how the Steelers defense could maintain its consistency without his presence. Robert Spillane answered that question pretty quickly in the ravens game. He has proved he is more than capable of replacing Bush for the short term, at least.
Wednesday against the Ravens bad news struck again. Bud Dupree, on a routine play, tore his ACL and is now gone for the season. Replacing one starting linebacker player on the Steelers defense proved manageable. Now with Dupree out, that leads to some serious questions going forward.
With Dupree gone for the season, can the Steelers defense maintain its intensity to defeat Washington, Buffalo, Indianapolis, and Cleveland? Dupree’s exit should make fans nervous, especially about Indianapolis and Buffalo. So yes, the Steelers’ undefeated record is in serious jeopardy, or at the least, fans should have pause for concern. For argument’s sake, say they can still manage to go undefeated throughout the regular season. Then, they still have to face Kansas City, unless the Chiefs happen to get upset in week two of the playoffs. The earliest they could face each other would be the AFC championship game unless the Steelers lose the remaining games on their schedule. Which, even with Dupree out, that scenario seems highly unlikely.
Which then begs the next obvious question. Without Dupree, and Devin Bush, can the Steelers stop Mahomes with all of his offensive weapons? Certainly, the Steelers offense will have its problems with the Chiefs defense. Stopping the Chiefs offense, well, that’s a daunting task, to say the least, considering they are 10-1. Even if the Steelers can beat the Chiefs, they will still have their NFC opponent in the Superbowl. As to who that will be at this point is anyone’s guess. Still, it needs to be a consideration.
So what do the Steelers do for the remainder of the season? They have a few options ranging from staying the course to considering signing potential free agents.