The Steelers’ defense had a good outing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Friday. Specifically, the team showed out at the second level, with a remade unit of inside linebackers proving to be guys that could play. Kwon Alexander, in particular, stuck out in a big way. However, one starter had a tough time against the Buccaneers and could be looking for a bounce-back game overall.
That would be the guy who will likely play the most, Cole Holcomb, It was Holcomb’s first game coming off off-season foot surgery, but he seemed just a second too slow throughout the game. As our own Derrick Bell pointed out, Holcomb was a guy who struggled at times to really mesh all facets of the position together in the first game.
“His first appearance in the black and gold was a bit of a rough one. He was caught out of position on a play-action fake, missed a couple of tackles and didn’t make much of an impact on defense,” Bell wrote.
Holcomb played an entire 25 snaps in that game, far more than most of the other starters on defense. A lot of that likely pertains to the meshing of the corps as a whole, but also the rust that Holcomb could be dealing with as a result of just returning to full participation at training camp.
The Steelers will be giving the green dot to Holcomb more likely than not, and so far in training camp he has been the guy who has played in just about every package they have other than their dime package, where Alexander is manning that spot. So, as the rust wears off, Holcomb is likely going to see an ascension in his play. Saturday against Buffalo’s starters will give Holcomb an opportunity to do just that in the preseason.