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Buffalo Bills Work Out Two Former Steelers Safeties



Steelers Tre Norwood
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Tre Norwood at OTAs, May 26, 2022. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Buffalo Bills worked out a pair of recently released Pittsburgh Steelers safeties on Tuesday, including former Steelers draft pick Tre Norwood.

The Bills brought in seven players for tryouts on Tuesday, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC-TV in Houston, and among those were two safeties that were cut by the Steelers at the end of the preseason: Norwood and Pittsburgh native Kenny Robinson.

The team’s seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Norwood played a good bit between slot corner and free safety in his first two seasons in the NFL. 

This training camp, the Steelers used him exclusively at free safety, where there was plenty of playing time available thanks to injuries to Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal and Minkah Fitzpatrick being away from the team, but Norwood was not healthy himself in order to take advantage, as he missed most of the Steelers’ training camp and all of the preseason with a nagging right calf injury. 

Norwood appeared in ten games for the Steelers last season as he recorded 16 tackles and no interceptions. Norwood appeared in the first nine games of the season and played over 30 snaps in four of those games, but his role diminished upon the arrival of Damontae Kazee in Week 10.

During his rookie season in Pittsburgh, Norwood played 388 snaps as a rookie which included as a starter at the slot cornerback position in the season opener at Buffalo. He also started in a game against the Chargers at free safety in 2021.

Norwood’s most memorable play is his game-sealing interception against the Cleveland Browns in Ben Roethlisberger’s final home game as a member of the Steelers in 2021.

Robinson joined the Steelers in January. He quickly became an essential piece of depth early in training camp, as the Steelers dealt with the absence of Fitzpatrick and injuries to Damontae, Neal and Norwood, leaving Robinson as a starting safety for several weeks.

He also got plenty of opportunities in the preseason, playing in 97 snaps of defense over three weeks and another 34 on special teams per PFF. He finished with 13 tackles in all situations and recovered a fumble in the finale against the Atlanta Falcons.

Robinson got his pro start with five XFL games in 2020, when he had 19 tackles and earned a 62.4 overall grade from PFF. He was solid in pass coverage with a 56.3 passer rating against, but got dinged for his run stopping.

As a rookie with the Panthers that fall, he played primarily on special teams. Robinson earned a bigger role in 2021, playing 182 snaps of defense. He had 17 tackles, 12 of which came on defense. Robinson was targeted just one in pass coverage, giving up a 12-yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints.

In 2022, he spent the entire season on Carolina’s practice squad without appearing in any games. The Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule just five games into the 2022 regular season.

The Bills have returning All-Pros Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer starting at safety, with Damar Hamlin and Taylor Rapp serving as experienced reserves. Buffalo does not have a safety on its 16-man practice squad.