Steelers’ Alex Highsmith Makes Wild Prediction For Team’s Defense

Alex Highsmith, Steelers
NFL Analysis Network

The Pittsburgh Steelers are known for having some very productive defensive units throughout the existence of the franchise. At the very least, a vaunted pass rush to make the life of opposing quarterbacks a living hell.

That should occur once again during the 2023 season. T.J. Watt is a star pass rusher on one end with Alex Highsmith opposite of him and Cameron Heyward on the interior. That is a fearsome trio, but a lot of pressure is on their shoulders to make the defense click.

Pittsburgh received 34.5 sacks from those three players last season and only 9.5 from the rest of the roster. If they’re not getting after the quarterback, the unit as a whole could struggle at times. But, that isn’t something Highsmith believes will occur in 2023.

Highsmith recently made some headlines with quotes he shared during minicamp. He believes that the Steelers were starting to gel at the end of the 2022 season and the best is yet to come for the unit.

“I know 100 percent we can be the best defense in the NFL, especially if we all stay healthy,” Highsmith said, via the team’s website. “I am excited about the guys that we have. We have depth at almost every position. It’s been good seeing guys come together and get better and better every day. The sky is the limit for us. I am excited to see how we continue to grow.” (H/T ProFootballTalk)

There may not have been a team in the NFL that closed out last season as strongly as the Steelers did. They did a total 180-degree turn after the bye week, looking like a brand-new team. Carrying that momentum into this upcoming season would help them get off to a hot start.

In addition, Highsmith is also excited about the additions that were made. General manager Omar Khan was aggressive this offseason in upgrading the defense, signing cornerback Patrick Peterson, linebackers Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts and safety Keanu Neal. Cornerback Joey Porter Jr. was also selected No. 32 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft to further bolster the secondary.

The linebacker depth could still use a little work after the Steelers revamped the entire depth chart. But, with stars at every other level of the unit, Pittsburgh should find plenty of success on that side of the ball.

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