PITTSBURGH — Even after the release of slot cornerback Art Maulet this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers are not actively seeking to add to that position group, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Saturday.
“We’re comfortable with the collective that we have in that space,” Tomlin said.
The release of Maulet, who started six games and was the team’s primary run-down Nickel cornerback in 2022, came as something of a surprise from the outside.
The Steelers had signed experienced slot cornerback Chandon Sullivan during the 2023 NFL Draft, but didn’t get another obvious slot option among their seven draft picks. The two cornerbacks they drafted, second-rounder Joey Porter Jr. and seventh-rounder Cory Trice are bigger-bodied players than the Steelers have traditionally used in that spot.
In addition to Sullivan, the Steelers have some other options to help offset the dual losses of Maulet and 2022 pass-down slot corner Cam Sutton.
The team debuted a three-safety Heavy Nickel package in 2022 that looks to get more run in 2023, with Keanu Neal plying the role of a box safety. They could also give more playing time to 2022 Dime defensive back Tre Norwood, a 2021 seventh-round pick that has played in the slot in addition to backing up free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
General manager Omar Khan also recently mentioned returning practice squad player Duke Dawson for that role. The Steelers also signed free agent safety Kenny Robinson this offseason. The Imani Christian alum has played a number of different roles on defense since leaving WVU.
The Steelers could also try veteran outside cornerback Patrick Peterson inside. He said during his introductory press conference that he is willing to move around the defense more than he has in the past.