Tyler Matakevich Praised For High Football IQ

He’s the man giving us a glimmer of hope during some dark times. The little bit of good in an otherwise bad situation. The man in red.

Tyler Matakevich is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ version of Ken Bone.

One of the few bright moments from their loss to the Miami Dolphins’ Sunday was a play that didn’t end up counting. After notching their first points of the day, Miami attempted a surprise onside kick. Matakevich recovered it, seemingly giving the Steelers excellent field position, but it was ultimately waved off by the refs who claimed they weren’t ready.

But that doesn’t change the high IQ the rookie linebacker showed and Danny Smith pointed it out speaking to Bob Labriola on Steelers Nation Radio.

“He has met many challenges. Dirty Red as we call it, Tyler, has met many challenges along the way to get on this football team and put himself in the position that he is. So it’s no surprise to me he would finish that play and came out good.”

Pittsburgh would’ve had the ball at about the Dolphins’ 46 in a 3-0 game. It’s impossible to say but perhaps that would’ve changed the complexion, and outcome, of the game. To be fair, the Steeleers would still find the end zone on the drive and take the lead.

Smith and Labriola agreed the refs explanation didn’t seem to mesh with what the tape showed.

“Everybody was in place. They deny that they were in place. But the film does show they were in place,” Smith said.

Matakevich would wind up replacing an injured Vince Williams at the end of the third quarter and amazingly, lead the team for the day with nine total tackles. At one point, he was credited for a tackle on six consecutive plays. He’ll be buried on the depth chart once Ryan Shazier comes back but gave another indication inside linebacker is one of this team’s deepest positions.

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