Steelers vs Giants Film Review: Josh Mauro Hustling

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie undrafted free agent Josh Mauro would seemed to have climbed the depth chart in advance of the team’s preseason matchup against the New York Giants this past Saturday.

The Steelers released their first depth chart—meaningless as it might be—a few days in advance of the game, on which Mauro is still listed as the third-team right defensive end, behind Brian Arnfelt as the second-team end.

Arnfelt, a second-year undrafted free agent who spent time on both the practice squad and 53-man roster in 2013, was practicing ahead of Mauro until recently. The rookie ended up playing ahead of him in the preseason game as well.

While it was by no means a great performance for Mauro, what it did show was a lot of tenacity, as well as energy, which is a good way to make an impression for a fringe player such as he is looking to get noticed.

Of particular note is the fact that Mauro, and the rest of the Steelers defense, was still facing the Giants’ first-team offensive line. At the very least, he managed to hold his gap on this play well enough to persuade the running back to run the other direction, which was leading him directly to Shamarko Thomas. But the noteworthy element of his play, and most that follow, is Mauro’s pursuit of the ball, crashing into the pile at the end to finish the play.

This play, as with the previous, is largely nondescript in terms of Mauro impacting the outcome directly, this one even less so than the first, but it’s another good example of the inexhaustible motor of the rookie undrafted free agent that was revving all night. The play below follows a similar theme, this time chasing down a pass. This strong work ethic and hustle helped get him reps with the second-team defensive line in sub-packages.

Every now and then, however, he did manage to actually reach a play in time to affect its outcome, rather than being a first responder to a football collision.

Early in the third quarter, with the Giants’ reserve linemen finally in the game, Mauro managed, eventually, to slide off the block of the rookie center to grab hold of the fleeing back and twist him to the ground after a gain of four. Of interest is the fact that starter Cam Thomas ran with Mauro as the second-team defensive line in sub-packages, as on this play above.

The rookie did manage to garner some accolades for this quarterback disruption in the passing game. With outside linebacker Chris Carter rushing the quarterback through the B Gap, Mauro crossed on the blitz, cutting inside the A Gap between left guard and center, blasting the running back, walking him back into Ryan Nassib and bringing him down as he threw it.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • MRN

    I really hope he makes the team..I think he has a lot of potential.

  • 8forty

    Love the last clip, strong play.

  • mem359

    I’m looking at Vince Williams in that 2nd gif.
    If he learns to hurdle linemen (like Polamalu), he might have avoided the cut block. He just missed tackling Nassib before he makes the hand off.

    I like how Mauro used Williams to knock Mauro’s lineman to the ground.

  • Ken

    Awesome clips, This guy has good quickness, gets off the ball well. Looks like a keeper.

  • steeltown

    I like Mauro’s hustle and he holds the point of attack pretty well.

    I am seriously surprised by McCuller and Mauro thus far, they have a long ways to go, but for being completely green and new to the NFL these kids have really shown something.

  • cencalsteeler

    Mauro caught my attention in the Giants game. Who is this #71? He reminds me of last years Arnfeldt. Being here in California, a lot of writes up on him last season in the local press. I was surprised he went undrafted. The motor Marczi talks about is ingrained in this kid, something we all like to see. I love seeing him drive his opponent into the qb. I am now officially on the Josh Mauro bandwagon!

  • chris ward

    Impressed with Mauro, like his effort and hustle.

  • Big White

    I wish the Steelers would draft five or six Stanford guys every year.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Pretty good tape on Mauro gotta love his motor. Lets see how he follows that performance up.

  • Biggie

    I like what I am seeing in Mauro, interestingly on all those plays shown, Carter is taken out of the play or takes himself out the play, he better start stepping up or goodbye.

  • walter mason

    I’ll jump on the bandwagon.

  • steeltown

    Indeed. Hope he keeps it up.

  • steeltown

    Agreed. Carter is a non-factor in regards to stopping the run. He gets bullied. His only weapon is quickness of the edge which he hardly uses to his advantage.. if I see that ineffective spin move one more time…

  • Dave Huston

    I know mock drafts mean very little, but Drafttek had Mauro listed as #103 on their Big Board prior to the 2014 NFL draft. That would’ve put Mauro going early in Rd4. I was excited to hear he was scooped up as an UDFA in the hopes that he pans out to Drafttek’s idea of his potential.

  • Jollyrob68

    Mauro better make the 53 or he will get snatched up by someone.

  • Matt Manzo

    Yeah! I’m surprised he was undrafted too! Everything I saw had him pegged from the 4th to 5th rounds. I’m really hoping he can make a place for him on this team!