The Steelers are coming off of an impressive season when it comes to getting after the quarterback. They led the NFL with 55 sacks in 2021, highlighted by the 22.5 recorded by Defensive Player of the Year, T.J. Watt.
As the new season approaches, another player wants to bring some sizzle to the Steelers’ pass rush. Alex Highsmith, who has been with the Steelers since 2020, has set quite the individual goal for himself.
“I gotta hit those double-digit sack markers,” Highsmith told SiriusXM NFL Radio, via Steelers Depot. “And so I’m just gonna do whatever I can. I’ve been working my butt off this offseason. Just be the best player that I can be. I’m in great shape right now. Feel great. … I know the goal that I’ve had for this year is that 10-to-12 sack mark and just continuing to make plays in the run game.”
Highsmith logged two sacks as a rookie and then six last season. So, stepping up to double-digits would be quite the jump for the former third-round pick.
The Steelers could certainly use more of a boost to their pass-rush from Highsmith with quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson on their schedule this season. The aforementioned Watt forces a lot of double teams so if Highsmith can elevate his game and take advantage of those opportunities then the Steelers could be even more dangerous when it comes to sacking the quarterback.
Of course, this all depends on if Highsmith takes the next step in his progression, and since he’s made his goal known, it will be something to keep an eye on this season.
Feature image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports