Following the injury to Cole Holcomb, the Steelers could look outside the organization to add some depth to their inside linebacker room. They have in-house options beyond Kwon Alexander and Elandon Roberts, including Mark Robinson and Mykal Walker. But linebacker is unique in that there are always options to add some relief, even in the short term.
Bleacher Report looks at the market and wants the team to look hard at former Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr. The four-time Pro Bowler is without a team after starting ten games last year with the Dallas Cowboys. But it could be a worthwhile expenditure.
“The Steelers already needed help at linebacker going into the Thursday night game against the Titans,” they wrote. “Then Cole Holcomb suffered a season-ending knee injury, and the need became even worse. The Steelers’ chances of continuing to win rely on playing good defense, so finding a veteran who can fill in could be crucial. Anthony Barr is among the most qualified free agents to take that job. He started 10 games for the Cowboys last season and compiled 58 total tackles with two for a loss, a sack and four quarterback hits.”
Barr is an experienced player who played the traditional SAM linebacker role in a 4-3 defense, but with the Steelers could work as a hybrid. He can blitz off the edge but adds experience to the group they could like for security. The team only has three inside linebackers on the roster after placing Holcomb on injured reserve. Both Walker and Tariq Carpenter remain on the practice squad. However, Mike Tomlin hinted this could be a regular rotation with some of Robinson sprinkled in following the injury.
For Robinson, he has played sparingly. They have thrown him in there against teams like the Ravens, who run an undeniable brand of smashmouth football where the running back turned linebacker’s focus can thrive. Maybe someone like Barr could make sense, but the leader in the clubhouse to get more snaps is Robinson, and if the opportunity comes, he hopes to show he’s ready for it.