Quietly, fifth-year safety Terrell Edmunds is putting together the best season of his career for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Week after week, Edmunds is coming through in big ways for the short-handed Steelers defense, from a run defense perspective, as well as in coverage, solidifying the secondary alongside Minkah Fitzpatrick.
After missing the 38-3 loss on the road against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, Edmunds’ return in Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Acrisure Stadium was much needed, as the veteran safety stepped into a leadership role for a secondary missing Fitzpatrick, Cameron Sutton, Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon due to injuries, helping the young Steelers’ secondary hold up well against Tom Brady and Co. in the 20-18 win.
In fact, Edmunds was the fourth-highest-graded defender for the black and gold in Week 6, according to Pro Football Focus’ grading metrics, earning praise from the likes of head coach Mike Tomlin after the win, as well as defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
Speaking with reporters Thursday during his weekly media availability, Austin — who worked with Edmunds closely the previous three seasons from 2019-21 as the secondary coach before shifting into the defensive coordinator role this season — praised Edmunds for the leadership he showed throughout the Week 6 win, according to Steelers.com’s Dale Lolley.
“(Edmunds) played really well last week. He triggered. He did a lot of really good things,” Austin said to reporters regarding Edmunds, according to Steelers.com. “It was good because he was the veteran out there. He was the guy who has played a lot of football for us. I thought he did a really good job leading the way for us on the back end.”
Edmunds did a great job in the box on Sunday, serving as that extra run defender at while handling his role in coverage against tight ends Cameron Brate and Cade Otton very well. He was most impactful as a run defender though, putting together his best run defense grade of the season, per PFF, at 81.3, helping the Steelers hold Tampa Bay to just over three yards per carry, forcing the Buccaneers to become mostly one-dimensional in the second half.
In the second half Edmunds had a key tackle for loss on a Fournette run that helped hold Tampa Bay to a field goal, and was generally a great communicator throughout the game. For a guy who has played a ton of snaps in Pittsburgh the last five years, rarely missing plays let alone games, it was great to see him back out there playing at a high level, earning the praise he has deserved for some time now.