Pittsburgh Steelers reserve free agent safety Sean Davis has signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Davis’ defection unites him with fellow University of Maryland alumni Frank Reich, and deals the Steelers an unsurprising, if slightly disappointing blow.
- The move also leads us to a rather ironic, bilingual play on words.
More on the play on words in a minute. In football terms, With Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds entrenched as starters, Sean Davis had no shot at earning a spot on the first string. As staff writer Tony Defeo argued, Sean Davis could theoretically work a bit in the slot, has he did as a rookie. Perhaps he could have even carved a role for himself as the “Dime Linebacker.”
- Those roles were hypothetical.
- There was nothing hypothetical about his real value to the Steelers: Depth.
And that’s where the bilingual play on words comes in.
The Spanish equivalents for American football terms represent a strange breed. Some, such as “Esquinero” for cornerback are quite literal. Others, like “Ala cerrada” for tight end are less obvious. “Ala” is wing in Spanish and “cerrada” means closed. Then there’s quarterback, which is termed “Mariscal de Campo” in Spanish.
The literal translation of Mariscal de campo” is Field Marshal.
There’s one case where you could argue that Spanish term expresses the concept behind the role of quarterback more precisely than the English one.
- So at this point you’re saying: “Ok, that’s interesting. But what the hell does it have to do with Sean Davis?”
Well, Sean Davis plays safety. The Spanish term for an American football safety is “Profundo.” And the literal meaning for “Profundo” is depth. And that’s where the irony comes in. Sean Davis’ free agent defection to the Colts tells the Steelers story thus far this off season: Free agency is ravaging this team’s depth.
While the franchise has question marks on the offensive line, tight end and running back, on paper the team is setting itself up to field a quality starting lineup. But outside of quarterback, wide receiver, arguably defensive line, and perhaps running back, the Steelers have no depth. None.
- Who is the “Next Man” up if Minkah, Terrell, Devin Bush or Robert Spillane were to go down?
The answer to all of the above is “Marcus Allen.” And that’s not a good place to be.
Credit Kevin Colbert and Omar Khan, through Ben Roethlisberger’s restructuring, and the use of “Voidable years” for players like Cam Sutton and JuJu Smith-Schuster, for helping the Steelers avoid Salary Cap Armageddon.
Things could look a lot worse. And while the Steelers can shore themselves up a bit in the 2021 NFL Draft, in a lot of areas on the depth chart the franchise will be walking a tightrope without a net.
- The last time that really happened was 2013, and we know how that year turned out….
Sean Davis was never going to be a show stopper for the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers. But he could have provided depth at a critical position. However, that is not to be.
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