Monday, February 17, 2014

Louis Delmas Visits Safety-Challenged Steelers

If you're failing to prepare, you're preparing to fail.

There is usually safety in numbers. Unfortunately for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the number in their safeties' ages are too high to bring any sort of comfort. They know this all-too-well, and it looks as if they may want to make their secondary a primary concern.

The Steelers took the first step at preparing to remedy their problem at safety specifically Monday by bringing former Lions free safety Louis Delmas in for a visit.

They checked Delmas' knee because of his having battled knee problems in the past.

The Steelers need to get younger in the secondary. Last season's starters, free safety Ryan Clark and strong safety Troy Polamalu, are 34 and 32 years of age respectively.

They also need depth, especially at FS considering their having more strong safeties on the roster. There's also no doubt that the Steelers would rather not have a rookie playing FS next season. Getting a free agent veteran would therefore allow them to focus on a cornerback early in May's NFL Draft.

In comes Delmas.

The first pick of the 2nd round of the 2009 draft has made two pro bowls in his five years, and will only be 27 in April. Delmas resembles RC25 in terms of coverage in his prime and is almost as big of a hitter.

Delmas has other visits, including the Denver Broncos, so this is by no means a lock. He would be a great fit for the Steelers, but free agency hasn't even begun yet and there is time.

As for the rest of the Steelers' safeties:

Shamarko Thomas - a physical strong safety with hitting ability who can cover in the slot. Sound familiar? The Steelers need the man they call "Headache" to be just that for the opposition next season.

Will Allen - he did a very good job again in 2013 and with RC25 leaving, they need him either to start until Thomas is ready or to be their third safety behind Thomas and Polamalu.

Robert Golden - core special teams player who led Steelers in special teams tackles (14). Showed himself to be a ballhawk last preseason. Can he step up and do so in the regular season, too, this time?

Ross Ventrone - another shot at making the final roster.

Jordan Dangerfield - gets no respect (but was signed to a Futures/Reserve contract on January 10th).