Jordan Dangerfield Wants To Show He Can Play In Coverage


It may have taken several years, but second-year safety Jordan Dangerfield is finally beginning to earn the respect that he deserves, and certainly would seem to have solidified his spot on the 53-man roster for a second year in a row following a two-interception performance against the Falcons for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

It was something that he wanted to show that he can do this year, as a player who is frequently regarded as a safety who is better staying up in the box and playing the run rather than dropping back into coverage.

He said that “it felt great” and “incredible” to get his first career interception, and to follow it up with a second a short while later. “Those plays are very important”, he said in the wisdom of a player who spent three years in training camps without making a 53-man roster prior to finally doing so in 2016.

That is one thing I wanted to show this year, that I can play man coverage, that I can make a play on the ball. I hope that shows them a little something”, he said, according to Teresa Varley for the team’s website.

With both starting safeties missing the first preseason game, Dangerfield started, and he finished the game with three tackles. On Sunday, he came into the game later as a reserve. He made another three tackles in addition to the two interceptions.


He also had a big tackle on special teams against the Falcons, a role that will always be important to any fourth safety on any roster in the NFL. Dangerfield has already shown in the past that he understands the needs for and the ability to earn his keep on special teams, but he is hoping to make headway as a defensive player as well.

Paired with Jacob Hagen with the second-team personnel when he did go into the game on Sunday, Dangerfield spent a lot of his time dropping into deep coverage, with the bigger Hagen even more of a box player than he is. And the second-half defense was much more successful than the first.

For a player who was originally undrafted in 2013 to persevere in pursuit of his NFL dream for this long and to see it finally beginning to play off is something of a joy to see. While he was able to spend some time on practice squads, he was unable to make a team until after his fourth training camp.

While he may not have entered this season quite being considered a lock, I don’t think he should have too much trouble making the 53-man roster a second time, especially after making a few plays in both phases on Sunday.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • falconsaftey43

    It’s time for Dangerfield to move ahead of Golden on the depth chart as the first safety off the bench. Golden’s best attribute is sound tackling, and Dangerfield is equally as good there. Golden is involved in far too many miscommunications, and is frankly always a step late in coverage. Frankly, I’m just ready for a change there, and there isn’t really any reason to think Dangerfield is a step down.

  • Smitty 6788

    I agree not a Golden fan.. He’s a stiff outside of ST’s

  • Michael Mosgrove

    been saying this since 2013.

  • Luis Grove

    I couldn’t agree more

  • Walt Dongo

    No more Golden please, hes awful

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I will give it to you. I’ve been seeing you on Dangerfield’s bandwagon more than anyone else. Honestly, I started to wonder if you were related to him or something. I have not been against him but never really paid him too much attention (other than as a solid tackler) until now.

    Now, I think I’m beginning to see what you have been seeing for a good while! Good call on him being ready to overtake Golden!

  • Michael Mosgrove

    well first when he was at towson he actually dated a friend of mine. met him more than a few times. seemed like a good kid.

    second. he reminds me of one of my favorite steelers, will johnson. not a big talker, but does what is asked of him and does it well.

    third. while i was have probably been his biggest proponent on this site i am also one of his larger critics too because i can see the potential in him. this is one of the reasons i volunteer in my local communities to help raise strong kids. i didnt have any strong role models growing up and people like moats, danger, johnson etc are good for young people to see. they arent flashy but they use what they have around them.

    fourth. who doesnt love an underdog story. sometimes it works like danger, sometimes it dont like big dan.

  • I think Danger should be ahead of Golden on the depth chart

  • Big Joe

    What he did was against back-ups and not a star QB or elite WR corps. I’m glad he did well and is pleased but he and Golden are not fast or coverage sound enough to play full-time as an NFL safety. I know there are still fans out there who support both of them but I clearly can see Dangerfield being exposed by good offenses just like Golden has been. Spot support for a few plays ok but not full-time. The Steelers need to upgrade the reserves at that position.

  • Mark

    I’m not at practice and don’t see what Golden is doing. However, Dangerfield deserves a chance. I’ve watched Golden in horror give up cushion and TD’s. It’ as if he has pics of Lake and Butler. When he plays against New England, TB12 goes right at him quickly. He’s so afraid of getting beat deep that he gives the WR plenty of room to make the catch and thus give him an opportunity to make the tackle.

  • Matthew, I thought Hagen’s profile was that of a cover safety with ball skills? This is the first I’ve heard him referred to as a ‘box safety.’

    On the other hand…I just re-read his draft profile. Other than his eight interceptions his senior year, he isn’t especially lauded for his coverage. Question, is he an upgrade over Golden?

  • Steeler Nation!

    It is time to see if Danger can handle it. Golden went from ST only to projected starter to ST only. While he can be a physical presence, his coverage skills are lacking. Can’t help vs the dink and dunk teams, which we have to play tighter coverage against. Give us some Danger

  • Matthew Marczi

    Nearly all backups are backups because they’re not good enough to be full-time starters. That’s just the way it works. Feel free to make a list of all the other backup safeties in the league who are better than the Steelers’ backup safeties, both of whom have starting experience.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I think Golden gets more criticism than he deserves, so you’re asking the wrong guy.

  • Big Joe

    I would argue that neither can hold up in coverage against a decent passing team. I would bet that the stats will reflect that. We will be looking to improve the position reserves in the off season. Both are good ST but not starting Safeties when callled upon. You’ll disagree and that’s your right. So, we’ll agree to disagree.

  • Matthew Marczi

    But, again, whose backups are going to hold up in coverage against Tom Brady? Backups are not as good as the starters and it’s rare that a team has a backup that is going to be a future starter barring a young, high draft pick. I just think people really overestimate the average quality of player at backup positions around the league. Are they really much worse than Will Allen, Ryan Mundy, Tyrone Carter, etc?

  • Big Joe

    Like I said, you and I are not going to agree on this. Yes, I expect a backup safry