There were plenty of things that went wrong for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2023 NFL season.
Much of the attention goes to the team’s quarterback play and offensive coaching, but the defense had its issues too.
The defense had some issues with consistency, in part because the faces in the lineup changed frequently because of injuries and a suspension for Damontae Kazee.
The issue is one that The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly believes could have been easily avoided at one position.
In an article with Mike DeFabo where they discussed season grades for Steelers players, Kaboly called not re-signing Terrell Edmunds a huge mistake for Pittsburgh.
Steelers Nation’s Parker Abate believes it’s a mistake the team shouldn’t repeat in 2024.
While discussing Kaboly’s thoughts on the 2023 mistake, Abate said it would be smart for the Steelers to try and bring Edmunds back in 2024.
Edmunds’ contract for 2023 was only worth $2 million, which should mean that he would be a relatively cheap option to give the Steelers some depth in 2024 after they closed out 2023 with Patrick Peterson and Eric Rowe getting major playing time at safety.
Steelers’ Injury Issues in 2023
During the 2023 season, the Steelers dealt with some key absences on defense throughout the year.
Kwon Alexander tore his achilles. Cole Holcomb had his season ended by a knee injury.
Keanu Neal ended up on IR with a rib injury he suffered in Week 11 and he never returned.
Minkah Fitzpatrick missed seven across two injury absences.
T.J. Watt missed the most important game of the year. A knee injury suffered in Week 18 caused him to miss the playoff game against the Bills.
Cameron Heyward didn’t miss any time, but after the season ended he revealed that he had been playing through a major groin injury.
All of those injuries combined with Kazee’s suspension for the last three games of the regular season left the Steelers frequently short-handed on the defensive side of the ball.
Edmunds Still Helped Out Old Team
When he didn’t end up getting brought back to the Steelers, Edmunds went to the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year deal.
He didn’t make it through the year with the Eagles as they sent him to the Titans as part of a trade for Kevin Byard.
Edmunds carved out a nice role for himself in Tennessee, making 15 tackles and getting 2.5 sacks in his first eight games with the team.
In his ninth game, he helped his former team make it to the playoffs.
The Steelers went into the Sunday of Week 18 knowing that they needed the Jaguars or Bills to lose to claim a playoff spot.
The Jaguars headed to Tennessee to play against Edmunds’ Titans.
In the game, Edmunds made 5 tackles and defended a pass, but more importantly, picked off a Trevor Lawrence pass in the first half that set the Titans up to score a touchdown that gave them a 21-10 lead.
The Titans ended up winning the game 28-20, putting the Steelers in the playoffs.
Now he heads back into free agency and could be a nice pickup for his former team after making a contribution to their playoff aspirations while on another roster in 2023.
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