Carter’s Classroom: Steelers follow safety model


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The Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

The Steelers' signing of Morgan Burnett and drafting of Terrell Edmunds begged the question of whether they would use more formations with three safeties that include Sean Davis. The simple talk of the prospect of using an extra safety to replace a linebacker or an extra pass rusher has caused several debates during the team's offseason after losing 45-42 to the Jaguars in the playoffs.

But the reality of the team's problems compounded when they lost Ryan Shazier to injury and had no capable backup at linebacker who could consistently contribute against both the run and in pass coverage against tight ends and running backs.

If the Steelers' answer for that question is to include an extra safety on more plays, there are other NFL teams that have already implemented that strategy. The most prominent teams on that list are the three teams that have been in the most recent two Super Bowls: The Patriots, Falcons, and Eagles.

We take a look at how they use their safeties and how that could be a sign of how the Steelers' defense looks in the future:

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