Pittsburgh Steelers second-year safety Shamarko Thomas has really stood out during the team’s first two preseason games and head coach Mike Tomlin has taken notice of that.
“He’s done a really nice job beyond the splash,” Tomlin said of Thomas during his Tuesday press conference. “I’m talking about the routine things. He’s doing the routine things routinely and that’s what you’re looking for in a guy in his position as he continues to mature and grow. He’s doing a good job of communicating.”
In the first two preseason games, Thomas, the Steelers first of two fourth-round draft picks last year, has registered eight total tackles of which one was for a loss. He also forced a fumble Saturday night in the win over the Buffalo Bills.
Thanks to the progress that Thomas has made since his rookie season at the strong safety position, it’s very possible that the Syracuse product might make veteran safety Will Allen expendable in a few more weeks. Allen is also helping in that effort as there’s a good chance he will miss a second straight game Thursday night with a hamstring injury.
Last season, Thomas saw a lot of playing time as a rookie in the first half of the season as an extra sub package slot defender, but an ankle injury suffered during the Week 10 game against the Bills resulted in him not playing another down on defense the remainder of the season.
On Tuesday, Tomlin didn’t rule out the possibility of Thomas seeing some playing time this year in sub packages.
“I’m open to all capable men participating in any form or fashion that can help us win,” Tomlin said. “And by that I mean, there’re maybe certain situations that may lend itself to his inclusion in a package or so forth. We’ll do it for the purposes of winning, not because he’s doing well and that’s not just about him, that’s about anybody.”