4 of the Steelers worst case scenarios for training camp
By Andrew Falce
Steelers play Ingram more than Highsmith
One of the biggest issues I have with the Steelers signing Melvin Ingram is that, based on the salary in his deal, it appears as though Ingram may be more of a rotational starter as opposed to a traditional third edge rusher. While Ingram’s age will likely keep him out of a heavy amount of preseason play, it will be telling how often the team uses him in camp. If Ingram is constantly playing above Alex Highsmith, that’s a bad sign for the rest of the season.
Given the short contract and his age, Ingram will not be with the Steelers long term. While Highsmith still has some developing to do, he showed a lot of strong traits to build off of as a rookie. Most of his issues stem from a lack of power, something that should improve after spending a year in an NFL conditioning program. Playing an aging veteran over him, on the other hand, will stunt his growth as a player.
Unless Highsmith really struggles this season, he should be seeing the majority of starting snaps, even if that means Ingram becomes just an overpaid backup. If the team is set on playing Ingram heavily, it really hurts the development of a young player like Highsmith. Again, Ingram won’t play a lot in the preseason due to his age, but if he is constantly ahead of Highsmith in camp, it could be damaging to his long-term development.