Kwon Alexander

Steelers Continue to Patch Middle Linebacker Position, Sign Kwon Alexander

Steelers fans, we bow to Omar Kahn once again as he shows awareness of what the Steelers need heading into the regular season. With training camp underway, it was on notice that the Steelers had struggles with the middle linebacker position last year. Deciding that this was a position of need, we speculated if the Steelers front office would wait until the trade deadline to patch up the position group or maintain a more aggressive approach with what is left in the Free Agent market.

I am trying my best to manage expectations; the Steelers have yet to find themselves their Quarterback of the Defense since our beloved Ryan Shazier went down with a career ending spinal injury in 2017. Oh we miss him so dearly.

As I stated in my last article regarding what I was looking for this Steelers 2023 season, I was keeping my eye out on who are the emerging starters at MLB heading into Week One. Right now, I reiterate that I am glad with the overall overhaul of the position and adding Kwon Alexander is definitely an add that cannot hurt at this point in time.

Alexander provides a physical presence in a run game that struggle the past two seasons. There’s a reason Minka Fitzpatrick had more than 96 tackles in the past two seasons. If the Steelers can bring the physicality upfront in the run game, Minkah and the rest of the secondary won’t have to make touchdown saving tackles.

If any new comer of the MLB group produces one turnover, they are better than they were last year. Any turnovers generated is good for the young offense to help them out points on the board.

With the departures of Robert Spillane, Devin Bush, and Myles Jack, the Steelers new faces in the Middle Linebacker room include Cole Holcomb, Landon Roberts, Mark Robinson and now Kwon Alexander. Also worth mentioning: 4th round pick Nick Herbig from Wisconsin, who has showed some nice play especially in coverage early on in Steelers training camp.

Kwon Alexander is an eight-year NFL veteran who has played for four teams, most recently the New York Jets in 2022. Alexander is a versatile linebacker who can play both inside and outside. He is best known for his coverage skills, but he is also a capable run defender. He is a good blitzer and has a knack for making big plays.

The Steelers were looking for a veteran presence who could help the young players develop. Alexander fits the bill perfectly. Continuing the meshing of the team veterans like Cam Hayward, TJ Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and newly acquired Patrick Peterson, alongside the young defenders such as rookie Joey Porter Jr. and others. 

Here are some of the ways that Kwon Alexander can help the Steelers at the middle linebacker position:

  • Improved coverage: The Steelers have been one of the worst teams in the NFL in terms coverage of linebacker coverage the past few seasons. Alexander is a good coverage linebacker, and he should help improve the Steelers’ defense in this area.
  • More sacks: The Steelers only had 40 sacks last season, which was tied for 14th in the NFL. Alexander is a good pass rusher, and even with TJ Watt out a good chunk of the season last year, we know the Steelers like to sit amongst the league leaders when it comes to sacks.
  • Better leadership: The Steelers have a lot of young players and non-proven starters at the middle linebacker position. Alexander is a veteran leader who can provide the Steelers some physicality in the run game.

Here are some of the challenges that Kwon Alexander will face in 2023:

  • Staying healthy: Alexander has had a history of injuries. He will need to stay healthy in order to be reliable factor for the Steelers.
  • Learning the Steelers’ defense: The Steelers have a complex defense. Alexander will need to learn the defense quickly as he is coming in a few days behind everyone else at Training Camp.
  • Competing for a starting spot: The position is up for grabs. Someone just has to take ownership and be the guy.

Overall, Kwon Alexander is a good signing at this time for the Steelers. Jets fans consider him as a solid player who got away especially with all of the changes they made in the offseason. Me and many in Steelers Nation are excited for the addition of Kwon Alexander to the roster.


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