It’s been a drama-full season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. This time when the word was used, it was strictly an on the field use. We wrote about Mike Tomlin wanting his team to produce more splash plays – the “drama” – on both sides of the football. Defensively, his best source of that may be Ryan Shazier, who Tomlin praised heavily today.
“Often times, knowledge increases your opportunity for the dramatic. Particularly in situational football. I think that’s why you see a guy like Ryan Shazier having a growing flair for the dramatic. Because he’s coming into his own as a veteran football player. He’s played a lot of ball for us. And I think you’re seeing the cumulative effects of that.”
Few on the Steelers have provided as much splash as Shazier. In eight games, he’s picked off two passes, forced a pair of fumbles, recovered another, and broken up seven passes.
Steelers’ PR man Dom Rinelli had this great stat on Shazier, showing why he’s in a league of his own.
— Dom Rinelli (@drinelli) October 30, 2017
And in a recent interview, inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky lauded Shazier for his advanced football instincts.
While Shazier has shown splash, he’s also shown consistency. He hasn’t missed any time and isn’t stacking the negative plays like he used too. Especially against the run, where he’s played with better technique, taking on blocks instead of ducking around, and staying on his feet. Instead of getting run over, he’s now the one dishing out the pancakes.
Ryan Shazier showing strength, technique in the run game. Used to duck around these blocks. Now, he just runs Tyler Kroft over. pic.twitter.com/rX6ld7BaFH
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) October 25, 2017
With Shazier playing at an All-Pro level and Vince Williams proving why the team felt comfortable letting Lawrence Timmons walk, the Steelers have a strong inside pairing. And if they can produce a little more drama, the good kind, they’ll be tops in the league.