In 2020 the Steelers defense ranked 3rd overall in the entire NFL. They finished 1st in the AFC. The Defense was definitely the glue that held the team together during the 2020 season because the offense was awful. The Steelers defense expects more than finishing in 3rd place in the NFL. They expect to be the best at what they do day in and day out on the football field. Steven Nelson knows the Steelers still have much work to do.
Steven Nelson on the future of the Steelers defense: "All we can do is continue to work at our craft," said cornerback Steven Nelson. "I am hoping that everybody stays healthy. I hope we have all of our core guys back so we can continue to get the job done at a high level. We have to go out there and compete like we have been doing. Since I have been here the secondary has made a huge jump from the previous years. I think that says a lot about the guys that we have. But we have to keep on doing that."
Steeler fans hope all of the core guys on defense return as well. The only issue should be Bud Dupree in the offseason because he is due a big payday. Prior to his ACL tear in 2020 he was by far the most improved player on the Steelers team. He was also looking at a double-digit sack season as well. So by core, I think Nelson means TJ Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Devin Bush, and most of the secondary.
Steven Nelson on the Steelers Defensive Communication in 2020: "I saw a big difference in communication," said Nelson. "We have been together two years now and I only see it getting better. In 2020, it was a little rough in the very beginning and that had to do with not having OTAs and that period together. But that was just at the start. I think now, having the two years under our belt with the core of the secondary, we will work together even more next year."
Not only does the Steelers defense have great communication they also get along very well together. They help each other on the football field if they see one another out of place. They take accountability if they get beat on a play and come back to try and get better. It plays a major role on the defense in Pittsburgh and Nelson knows it.
Nelson on getting along on defense: "We get along. We have a camaraderie. It's not that we just get along on the field, we get along off the field as well. That plays a major role with having a good group."