We’re only three weeks into the 2022 NFL season and the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) are making a change. They field the NFL’s 28th ranked run defense, allowing 4.2 yards per carry.
That all starts with the defensive line. Cameron Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi hare playing well enough to instill confidence, but it stops there. And head coach Mike Tomlin agrees.
It was announced Tuesday morning that starting nose tackle, Tyson Alualu is being supplanted by Montravius Adams on the depth chart. Tomlin quoted as saying “You know, he has been playing better than Tyson. And so we just thought it was appropriate“
Considering Adams has only played 13% of the Steelers defensive snaps to Alualu’s 43%, it’s telling this change would be made. Considering how the run defense has looked with Adams on the field as opposed to Alualu, it makes plenty of sense.
Stat is a bit broad and sample size small three games in but YPC allowed when on the field:— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) September 27, 2022
Tyson Alualu – 5.0
Montravius Adams – 2.6
Alualu not making impact plays, getting off blocks, like he used to. Sounds like a change is coming. https://t.co/r05V4Xx5vi
Neither player is young. Adams is 27 and in his sixth season and Alualu is 35 and in his 13th season. While Alualu is still expected to be factored into the rotation, Adams has played better and hasn’t looked the same since returning from fracturing his ankle in week two of last season.
Time will determine how much Alualu will factor into the defense from here. In the meantime, Adams is being rewarded from being the best run-stuffing nose tackle the Pittsburgh Steelers can field.
With 14 games to go, it’s possible the defense overall can make a full turnaround from this moment.
Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports