With the recent retirement of Steelers defensive end Tuitt, here is a ranking of the four in-house options to replace him.
Stephon Tuitt officially announced his retirement from the NFL. While losing a player like that is never easy, the team luckily has a few options that could realistically replace him. Luckily, the defensive line is one of the deeper positions on the team, so finding a replacement could come from the current group on the roster. Here is a ranking of the in-house options that the Steelers can replace Tuitt with.
Steelers replacement #4
While Tyson Alualu is the longest-tenured option of the names listed here, I find it hard to believe that he ultimately settles in as the replacement for Tuitt. The simple reason is due to Alualu having become a great nose tackle for this defense. While he could switch to an end role, why try to fix something that isn’t broken?
While Alualu was originally signed as an end, he has played far better since he moved inside. Asking him to go back to an end role isn’t the end of the world, but it would take away from some of the dominance that he has shown. As well, it would leave the nose tackle room extremely shallow.
Finally, at his age, expecting Alualu to play the lion’s share of the starting defensive end snaps seems unlikely. He likely benefits from a reduced snap count, which isn’t something that he would get playing at the end spot. While Alualu wouldn’t be a bad replacement on paper, the ripple effect that he would have by moving positions makes it hard to buy him as Tuitt’s replacement.