Courtesy of Point Park University

Friday Insider: It’s all stacking up for Dupree ☕


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At the snap of the ball, the linebacker crashed into center B.J. Finney, driving him backward into the backfield.

On the next snap, he did it again. And then again.

It wasn't all that uncommon to see the Steelers attacking the center at the snap. After all, they employ nose tackles Javon Hargrave and Daniel McCullers to do just that. But in this case, the player attacking the center at the snap of the ball was outside linebacker Bud Dupree.

The Steelers unveiled the look last Sunday at their Family Fest at Heinz Field, stacking Dupree, all 270 pounds of him, behind the line of scrimmage in their goal line series and having him take a running start at the center at the snap of the ball.

"It's something new," Dupree told me afterward. "I haven't done it since college. But I like it. I takes advantage of my speed and power."

Dupree's power and speed are unique, much like a slightly lesser version of the Texans' Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans move Clowney all over, allowing him to use his blend of power and speed to shoot gaps and disrupt the offense. Like Dupree, Clowney doesn't bend around the edge real well. But Clowney does have 29 sacks in the past four seasons because the Texans move him around and allow him to play to his strengths.

Dupree hasn't turned into the pass rushing specialist the Steelers had hoped he'd become. But he does bring some special talents to the table. It looks like, in his fifth year in the NFL, they might finally be looking for ways to best take advantage of them.

"If you blow up the center like that, it can throw things off," former Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke told me. "And he has the power and speed to do that."

The Steelers are paying Dupree $9.2 million this season after they picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. He'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. And if he gets the 15 sacks he's set as a goal for this season, he'll likely be too expensive for them to re-sign. If he has another 5.5-sack season like he did a year ago, they probably won't want to re-sign him.

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