Updated: Apr 10
Written By: Kelly Anozie
There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about third-year safety Marcus Allen In this era, where position versatility is valued, Allen has not only proven his ability to play safety, he has also shown his ability to play at the linebacker position. Three years into his NFL career, Allen has yet to find a regular spot on the Steelers defense. 2019 was no doubt, a roller coaster year for Allen. After being cut prior to the beginning of the season in August, Allen the majority of the season on the practice squad. When former safety Kameron Kelly was released following his arrest in December, Allen was promoted to the active roster and saw action in just one game and played just seven on special teams; in contrast, he played 18 snaps on defense in the 2018 season. So far in this offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers has seen several departures on the defensive side, which has resulted in a decline in depth at the linebacker position. The first one being being the release of veteran safety Mark Barron, who played several snaps at linebacker. The other notable one was the linebacker Tyler Matakevich, who signed a two-year deal with the Buffalo Bills on March 17th. This upcoming season, more than ever, the door of opportunity has opened him to step and earn a regular roster spot. Even if the Steelers were to address the need for depth at safety or linebacker through free agency or the draft, Allen still has the advantage of experience in the system, despite playing minimal snaps.
Allen's place on the squad will likely be determined by his ability to stand out during the preseason, and contribute during the regular season. By summoning up the same mindset that once helped him contribute 22 tackles in a game while at Penn State, Allen could finally find the type of stability he has been searching for.