Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers signed inside linebacker Jon Bostic via free agency and added former Florida State inside linebacker Matthew Thomas as an undrafted free agent in May, several who follow the team still don’t believe enough was done to address that particular position during the offseason. On Friday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was asked about a few other veteran inside linebackers still being able, such as Navorro Bowman, and quizzed on why he hasn’t attempted to sign any of them.
“That’s stuff that can continue to evolve,” Colbert said. “Just because we didn’t doesn’t mean we won’t. John Bostic, we thought was a nice signing that fit, and again, we’re never going to sell Tyler [Matakevich] short.”
Colbert went on to say that because of the shoulder injury he suffered last season, Tyler Matakevich really never got an opportunity to show what he could do at the inside linebacker position and especially after starter Ryan Shazier was lost for the season with his spinal injury. Because of that, it has sounded and looked like the starting spot in 2018 alongside Vince Williams is Matakevich’s to lose. Bostic, who started last year for the Indianapolis Colts, figures to be the fallback option, at least for now.
“So, yeah, there are guys available and who knows? Over the training camp maybe we won’t be happy, maybe we will. In the meantime, let’s look at these guys first,” Colbert said per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Colbert’s response really isn’t overly surprising as he’s been pumping the notion that Matakevich would be given every opportunity to succeed Shazier all offseason. Additionally, he really seems to like what Bostic brings to the team as fallback option.
While Colbert certainly didn’t totally rule out the possibility of signing another veteran inside linebacker at a later date, one would think a lot of things would ultimately need to happen before such an addition would actually happen. Things such as an injury or a suspension. In short, if Matakevich isn’t able to hold the starting job, Bostic will likely get it. Bringing another veteran in this late in the process would be more of a desperation move.