Steelers Addition Of Sylvester And Allen Is Indeed A Message, Just Not The One Most Think It Is

The Pittsburgh Steelers are obviously trying to send a message with the signing of linebacker Stevenson Sylvester and safety Will Allen to the roster this week, but that message is not the one several are trying to portray it as being.

The message is that they need healthy, experienced bodies that can play on special teams. Nothing more, nothing less.

In case you missed it, both linebacker Kion Wilson and safety Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith suffered injuries in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Wilson suffered a hamstring injury while Cromartie-Smith suffered a hip injury. Also, in case you missed it, both combined to play 144 snaps on special teams through the first four games of the season.

Had Sylvester not injured an ankle covering a punt in the preseason opener against the New York Giants, Wilson likely wouldn’t have even made the roster. Now that he’s back and healthy, the Steelers former fifth-round draft pick will fill Wilson’s special teams role and serve as the buck linebacker backup to rookie Vince Williams.

Like Sylvester, Allen is well versed in the Steelers defense and he too has built his career around being a special teams contributor. Allen also has long been a favorite of head coach Mike Tomlin. He was a capable fill in for safety Troy Polamalu last year when he was sidelined with his calf injury and that likely played a part in the decision to bring him back.

Believe or not, the Steelers still haven’t given up on the 2013 season. The stronger they can keep the bottom end of the roster right now, the better.

Will Sylvester and Allen stay on the roster the remainder of the season? It’s possible, but they are what they are and that is healthy bodies that can cover punts and kicks that won’t be lost should they have to play on defense. That’s the message.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Agree 100%. I hate seeing the panic in fans. Look how dumb the FO was…I told you Tomlin can’t judge talent, etc. Just calm down, the guys are hurt and can’t help us right now. This does NOT mean it wasn’t the right decision at the time, but now we need help.

  • Shea Fahr

    The moves make perfect sense. Sly also knows all of the Defensive play calling.

  • Dr. Doom

    Good move on both counts

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Curious to see what happens when Kion and Da’Mon get healthy enough to play again. Who gets kicked to the curb?

  • Mike Carroll

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to think Sly or W. Allen could see some defensive snaps. Right now, the Steelers have all their star defensive players out on the field and guys like Troy and Woodley are as healthy as they’ve been in years. Yet, the defense just got shredded by the Vikings and really did not play well against the Bears either. I completely agree the team has not given up on the season. If Sly and W. Allen step on the field and aren’t lost, they very well could be improvements over V. Williams and Golden right now, even if those other players have brighter futures.

  • Mike Carroll

    Nobody expected Foote to go down in Week 1, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Kion is not making it back to the 53 man roster (assuming Sly plays sufficiently well on ST).

  • John Williams

    Use, recycle, reuse. Don’t ever develop any new talent. How long until Big Snack is back? This coach is running the team into the ground! Cut Dwyer…re-sign. Cut Stevenson… Let Allen go… All I would like to see now is Tomlin….resign.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    I once argued somebody with the football logic; this person said the football is much about winning, as for the weakling link among strong does drag down the strength and you must have 11 best men.

    I argued that, being a really strong overall team you can hide the weaklings, football for me is about a game of chess on offense and your median talent to measure which you don’t measure a team based on positional strength, not even where the weak link are. Its always had been about the median of your team, in this case the median talent among our team I would argue is the linebacker corp. Because last year the median was all D-linemen, all other 8 players on defense was able to cover up the defencies. Last year it was the running game, obviously it showed up and had been let down plenty.

    You can evaluate a team more based on positional strengths and weaknesses and find the positions in middle. Because the position in middle makes the big difference more than people think.

    If your team’s median talent is lower than league’s average, like our Steelers- yes there are good odds we will miss the playoff. This sound like something you see from moneyball movie but truth is, simple and pure. You draft players to push the median, not to sharpen the iron with iron. You sign FAs to change the weak links. That, my steelers friends is the simple principles of being a successful/play-off team.

  • Matt Manzo

    That’s why I think the coaches are to blame; they havent been playing very good chess the last few months!

  • sean mcmartin

    You have to add the way the players are being coached up to know the basic rules and come out every game fired up and ready to play.
    Tomlin has failed the team numerous games. They showed up on MNFL with no fire to win. I say fire Tomlin and load the damn pool table and ping pong stuff in his truck on the way out..

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    We have three different problems, neither are bad with the offense input we have. Big Ben IS not the QB for Todd Haley, he doesn’t do play-action very well. Todd Haley doesn’t utilitize our offensive weapons and believe me, as bad our O-line are, they aren’t that bad. Tomlin not only is absolutely clueless with what to do with our offense but is experiencing the “Miracles syndrome”.

    In case people wonder what’s the “Miracle’s syndrome”? Its a word I made up for coaches who became very accustomed to winning that when finally your team is losing your team, you lost your composure. When U.S.S.R. played United States for hockey semi-finals back in 1980’s many mistaken the concept that we were that good- we were very fortunate we got ahead, our goalie played like crazy and saved everything and this U.S.S.R. head coach is quite fond of his system because the team always have been ahead in game, playing prevent and more of zone defense. That concept goes out of the window when they can’t play it safe. This same U.S.S.R. lost to local NHL professional team in an exhibition game with Brent Hull’s father, Bob scoring 3 goals.

    Point being, all three individuals BRING all greatness to the table but problem is we have to let at least one of them. Todd Haley being the most expendable might be first to go but how long do the FO want to hangs on to Big Ben? I’m all ears, curious George right now and awaiting for the off-season conducts.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    *let at least one of them go*

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    I guess this makes me only one who appreciate us losing. We have an egocentric franchise, everybody on this team hasn’t experienced the true meaning of losing. Not even Big Ben encountered any season like this, what I am saying is we may be reacting but so are the whole FO and coaching staffs. Now every players are looking back and making sure they still have a job.

    I blame the whole overall team. Colbert didn’t make good decisions with FA signings nor drafts. Tomlin don’t understand the composure of losing and is having a lackluster effect with his infamous “doghouse” actions. Todd Haley came in, didn’t understand that Big Ben would never be the quarterback he instills for his offense and didn’t utilitized the offense. Big Ben couldn’t see that he need to play different to help his team and is making mistakes. Rest of our team lack leadership because no one is stepping up and say “look, we are 0-4. This is VERY real, we gottachange how we play and discipline ourselves accordingly”.

    It sucks but I’m grateful for the long winning seasons I have encountered, it makes me see the pain many other loyal fans foresee when their franchises miss playoff for a decade or so. I’m going to remain the same, same fan that love the sport and worships the Steelers religiously.

  • sean mcmartin

    There should be no question Ben Stays..
    without a QB there is no Rings. He does need a fire lit under his britches. I don’t see the competitive fire in him.
    He is being paid millions to tow the company line and not say what he thinks. But you can see it in his face.
    Lack of talent = GM
    lack of nasty demeanor and swagger= coaching

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    To be fair, nastiness, demeanor, and swagger all were on Goodell ?:-)

  • walter mason

    not Ben

  • Johnny Loose

    FIRE TOMLIN! FIRE TODD HALEY! TRADE ROETHLISBERGER!! Same as always. Some of you kill me. Would you snap your dogs neck cause he can’t seem to figure out how to fetch? Sound like a pregnant women trying to figure out her appetite. This team will be fine I promise

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    I agree. Completely but again, contract is coming soon. Money talk, brah. If he’s asking for almost same or same amount, we ain’t signing him to an extension.