5 Steelers that must see more playing time for rest of 2021

James Pierre #42 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
James Pierre #42 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers
James Pierre #42 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Steelers CB James Pierre

While James Pierre hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations set in camp, the former undrafted corner hasn’t been bad for the team. His athletic woes are obvious as he has gotten burned on deep touchdowns twice, but he has been a sound tackler, decent in short and middle of the field coverage, and has been active in creating turnovers for the secondary.

The issue with Pierre is that the Steelers seemingly want to keep Cameron Sutton on the outside as often as they can. This means Arthur Maulet has taken on the role as the primary slot cornerback, and he has been pretty lackluster. If the team would try putting Sutton in the slot and Pierre on the outside more, some of the coverage woes would alleviate themselves.

This doesn’t mean that Pierre should be on the field for every defensive snap but getting him closer to the 50 percent mark makes sense. This means the Steelers have their best coverage corners on the field at any given time which would slow down opposing passing attacks. Pierre has made the big plays when called upon, and even with his struggles covering deep, he should be in line to see more snaps going forward.

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The Steelers still have a shot at making the playoffs, but there is talent on this roster that isn’t being properly utilized. These five players could do with some more snaps on offense and defense moving forward. If the team wants to remain competitive, allowing these five more opportunities will keep the team trending in the right direction.