Second-year defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs was a busy man this off-season; much of his training activity documented on different social media platforms. Whether he was posting a training video or motivational messages, he was arguably the most active among Pittsburgh Steelers players in this domain.
Beyond the training videos and inspirational posts, Buggs is seemingly a man on a mission. Last season, Buggs got a taste of NFL action, playing 75 defensive snaps in nine games and contributing three total tackles. Yet this off-season has seen many changes to the Steelers rosters, as Javon Hargrave signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving a big void on the interior of the defensive line.
Back in May, head coach Mike Tomlin made it clear that both veteran linemen Tyson Alualu and Daniel McCullers would be vying for the starting spot on the interior. Since the Steelers generally keep six defensive linemen on their active roster, this presents an obstacle for Buggs considering the presence of veteran and defensive captain Cameron Heyward, the addition of Chris Wormley through trade, and Nebraska defensive tackle Carlos Davis through this year's NFL Draft.
What may set Buggs apart is his position versatility. During his time with the University of Alabama, Buggs played at defensive end and defensive tackle. By his senior year, Buggs blossomed into one of the top defensive linemen in the SEC Conference, registering 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in 15 games.
There is no question that Buggs will have his work cut out for him, if he looks to find a spot on the active roster. As true as he is to his work ethic, all signs indicate he should be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen.