The Pittsburgh Steelers are making changes... just not the ones that anyone anticipated or asked for. Entering the Week 6 bye, fans were screaming from the rooftops for Matt Canada to lose his job as the team's offensive coordinator. That obviously didn't happen and Mike Tomlin has made it clear that he has no intentions of moving on from Canada during the season.
There was some movement from Pittsburgh's front office, however. Fans are scratching their heads over the unexpected roster shakeups the team just made. Here's the latest Steelers news.
On Tuesday night, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers intended to release veteran cornerback Desmond King. This was a shocker to fans. When the team signed King following his release from the Texans, most assumed that the Steelers would immediately insert him as Pittsburgh's starting nickel cornerback -- taking the place of the unspectacular Chandon Sullivan.
Instead, King was inactive for his first two games with Pittsburgh. When he did suit up, he saw just a handful of snaps on special teams. In five games with the Steelers, King played a grand total of 1 defensive snap, per Pro Football Reference.
While the team has not given a reason for his departure, we can probably assume that King's medicals were still an issue or that he just didn't have the athletic traits anymore to make it work at the cornerback position. Either way, this experiment with a former NFL All-Pro ended before it even started.
More Steelers news
As a related move, the Steelers reportedly intend to sign cornerback Darius Rush off Kansas City's practice squad. Rush was an intriguing prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, and many draft analysts believed he would be a second or third-round pick thanks to his size and traits. At 6'2'' with over 33'' arms, Rush possesses 4.36 speed.
However, Rush wound up going to the Colts in the fifth round, and he has had trouble catching on. After his short stint with Indianapolis, Rush made his way to Kansas City. The Chiefs cut him and tried to stash him on the practice squad, but it looks like the Steelers are swooping in to snatch him up. If this is indeed the case, Rush must be promoted to the active roster in Pittsburgh.
Rush was a quality player at South Carolina, and his traits and upside are through the roof. Perhaps he could serve as a developmental boundary cornerback prospect for the Steelers.
Following Week 6, Josh Kendall of The Athletic adjusted his NFL power rankings. He had the Miami Dolphins jumping to the top of his list after another impressive performance, while the 49ers slid to second following their loss to the Browns.
Surprisingly, the Steelers to the 13th overall spot after being 20th last week. This comes despite the fact that Pittsburgh didn't even play football in Week 6. The disappointing performances of other teams like the Buccaneers, Texans, Colts, and Chargers no doubt attributed to their rise in the rankings.
Now it's time for Pittsburgh to earn more than just a higher placement by default; they need to prove that they can be a playoff-caliber team. A road win against the Los Angeles Rams this week would be a great start.