With the Pittsburgh Steelers bye week being halfway through the year, it is a great time to reflect on the first half. We will pick a group of Steelers and see whether or not they have met their expectations to date, and whether they can hit their expectations in the second half of the year. Today, we look at J.J. Wilcox.
Days before the NFL season started the Pittsburgh Steelers traded a sixth-round pick for J.J. Wilcox and a seventh-round pick. The Steelers clearly felt he was a needed addition, and it came because both of their starting safeties were banged heading into the season.
Through Eight Weeks
Over the first couple of weeks of the season. Sean Davis and Mike Mitchell were both on the injury report, and in week three, Mitchell sat out giving Wilcox a full workload. However, he did not make a real big impact in that chance. From there, he has played a combined 10 snaps over the past four weeks on the defensive side of the ball. The Steelers health has been impressive, and it has rendered Wilcox a much bigger luxury than a need to this point.
Second half outlook
Wilcox is still a player likely to stick around though. What the Steelers like from Wilcox is his versatility. If he needs to be in the box, blitzing off the edge and defending the outside, like Mike Hilton, he can do it. If the task is running downhill from the deep safety role to take on tight ends or running backs in the run game like Sean Davis, he can do it. If Wilcox needs to play centerfield and roam the back half, he can do it. He is a great depth piece to have, but you are always happier when he is off of the field than on it.