Perhaps no player benefitted more last season, than fourth-year safety Marcus Allen.
After struggling to make the roster his first three seasons, Allen found his true calling as a linebacker during training camp in August 2020. After an impressive showing, Allen earned an active roster spot for the first time in his career.
With little depth at the linebacker position prior to Devin Bush Jr's season-ending knee injury, Allen rose to the occasion when his number was called. In the 14 games he played this past season, he registered 30 total tackles with two of them for a loss. When targeted, Allen allowed a total of 64 yards, despite allowing eight receptions on ten targets.
When mounting injuries at the linebacker position challenged the Steelers roster depth, Allen not only played his role admirably, he made contributions when it mattered. He sited head coach Mike Tomlin for his ability to mentally prepare for big moments.
“He’ll always just be in your ear, basically saying, just keep working, your opportunity could come at any second, so just stay on it every day and never take a day off”.
For the Steelers, the offseason has been filled with uncertainty. With the possibility of losing standout pass rusher Bud Dupree to free agency, and with Bush Jr. still in rehab phase, it is almost certain that Allen will see his role expanded this upcoming season. As a natural safety, his versatility served the defense well last season.
With a year of experience under his belt, his productivity should increase along with his snaps. Regardless of Bush Jr. 's return or any new additions at the position from free agency or this year's NFL Draft, Allen has established himself as one of the most reliable players on the team, and one with the potential of emerging as an impact player.