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DeShon Elliott Tabbed Most Underappreciated Steelers Player

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Pittsburgh Steelers SS DeShon Elliott

DeShon Elliott wasn’t a flashy signing by the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency, but he’ll play a crucial role on the Steelers’ defense this season, serving as the strong safety opposite of All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick.

After recording six interceptions (tied for league-best) in 2022, Fitzpatrick had zero in 2023. Injuries played a part, but not having Terrell Edmunds at strong safety reduced Fitzpatrick’s playmaking abilities. The Steelers are hoping that Elliott will have that same chemistry that Fitzpatrick shared with Edmunds.

“Again, we have familiarity with DeShon and just got a lot of respect for how he plays the game, the toughness component,” Mike Tomlin said at the owner’s meeting in March. “We felt like he would be a good asset in addition to our secondary. Good tackler, good communicator. There’s a lot that’s attractive about him and we’re excited to get to work with him.”

Pittsburgh Steelers FS DeShon Elliott

Deshon Elliott speaks at a press conference about his contract signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, Friday, March 15, 2024 in Pittsburgh, PA. (Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers)

Gennaro Filice of NFL.com thinks the Elliott signing has been overlooked by the masses. He believes Elliott is the most underappreciated player on the Steelers.

Filice said that Elliott’s ability to seamlessly transition between teams and schemes is a testament to his versatility. Boasting ample experience as a free safety, strong safety and nickelback.

Elliott declared during his introductory press conference that the Steelers are getting a Swiss Army Knife.

“With me being able to move around, it just gives them the flexibility to put me wherever they want me at,”  he said. “I mean, I’m open to playing wherever they want me and just being a part of this defense, so it doesn’t really matter to me. I want to be productive in this defense by any way possible that I can.”

Elliott is expected to play plenty of time in the box this season, which will allow Fitzpatrick to roam around and play freely at free safety. Elliott is a force player with violent hitting ability.

During a one-on-one interview with Missi Matthews of Steelers.com, Elliott revealed that Patrick Queen recruited him to sign with the Steelers.

“He was like, do you wanna become a Steeler? I was like, what do you mean? He goes, I was talking to the GM, do you wanna become a Steeler? I was like freak yeah bro, hell yeah, I’ll come play with you; what are you talking about? And so the next day, made it happen,” Elliott said.

Elliott and Queen are two additions that could take the defense to the next level.