How the Steelers spread their snap counts in Sunday's tie against the Browns | Steel City Underground

Steel City Underground

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt prepares to defend against the Cleveland Browns (2017 NFL regular season)

Each week we’ll take a look at the composition of the Steelers wins and losses (and ties too) by examining the team’s snap counts on offense and defense. Here’s a look at the makeup of last week’s game.

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Player Snaps Pct
Foster 84 100%
Villanueva 84 100%
Gilbert 84 100%
Roethlisberger 84 100%
Pouncey 84 100%
Brown 83 99%
DeCastro 82 98%
Conner 77 92%
James 69 82%
Smith-Schuster 63 75%
Hunter 51 61%
Grimble 22 26%
Nix 19 23%
Okorafor 17 20%
Washington 11 13%
Switzer 7 8%
Finney 2 2%
Heyward-Bey 1 1%

Most of the usual suspects on offense played the entirety of the game, including the offensive line and Ben Roethlisberger. Antonio Brown only left the field for one snap, is par for the course when you’re arguably the best player on the field.

The major bump in playing time this week came for a few players, most notably James Conner, who was playing in place of Le’Veon Bell.

However, a few others snuck onto the field more than we perhaps initially thought they would. Xavier Grimble was the beneficiary of Vance McDonald being ruled out. The “X-Man” would play a quarter of the game in two tight end sets.

Another surprise, perhaps, was Chukwuma Okorafor, the Steelers swing tackle, who also saw about a fifth of the total snaps in various jumbo packages.

Justin Hunter is the clear go-to receiver in place of Martavis Bryant’s old spot, at least for now. Hunter played over half of the game as rookie James Washington slowly eases into the offense.

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Player Snaps Pct
Davis 89 100%
Burns 88 99%
Williams 88 99%
Watt 85 96%
Dupree 83 93%
Heyward 76 85%
Edmunds 74 83%
Tuitt 73 82%
Hilton 60 67%
Bostic 59 66%
Haden 58 65%
Burnett 40 45%
Sutton 33 37%
Alualu 29 33%
Hargrave 25 28%
Chickillo 10 11%
McCullers 10 11%

On defense, the outside linebacker rotation is completely gone so far in 2018. With only three outside linebackers on the depth chart, T.J. Watt played nearly the entire game. (And rightfully so, as he racked up four sacks!)

Bud Dupree also saw a big bump in playing time. Sean Davis continues to play every snap, this time from the free safety position. The big boys upfront still get spelled at times while Jon Bostic periodically left the field as rookie Terrell Edmunds got the start at strong safety, but Morgan Burnett also got a nice share of playing time after being banged up for most of the preseason.

Second-year corner Cameron Sutton came into the game when Joe Haden hurt his hamstring. Mike Hilton’s playing time shows a commitment to using more defensive backs, but another glaring number is NT Dan McCullers ten reps: he had 13 over the course of four total games last season.


Statistics courtesy of the National Football League

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