I mentioned earlier this week that fourth-year outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo received a comparably extended amount of playing time on Monday against the Tampa Bay Buccanners. He had about as productive a day for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a pass-rusher as he ever had.
One of the reasons that it didn’t get a lot of attention, however, is that the results of the plays whenever he wasn’t actually brought down for a sack wound up being pretty terrible. Chickillo recorded three pressures in the game, one being a sack. The other three plays went for seven yards (22 with a penalty), a four-yard touchdown, and a 16-yard gain.
But at least the sack came on third down, all the way back in the first quarter, and it went for a nine-yard loss that moved the Buccaneers out of field goal range. It was a legitimately impressive pass rush, slipping inside the right guard, who wasn’t prepared for the sharp cut, and then getting free of the running back in pass protection as well.
In the second quarter, he got a bit of an assist with the left tackle failing to set properly, but Chickillo showed power in unseating him, spilling him to the ground. Sean Davis drew a roughing the passer call on the play, however, which was tacked onto the end of a seven-yard completion.
He had a couple of noteworthy pressures in the fourth quarter as well. On third and goal from the four-yard line, he got the better of the left tackle again, winning inside and getting in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s face, but he was able to get the ball out, completed in the end zone. He got a hand on the tackle’s right shoulder pad to secure leverage and then cut sharply inside with a swim move. One of the cleanest passes he’s had in a game in his career.
He actually got a hit on Fitzpatrick on his final pressure, which was completed to his tight end for a 16-yard catch and run. He took on the end’s chip first before the left tackle seemed to lose him a bit with a blitz coming around the end.
If Chickillo continues to perform like that, then he may continue to earn a few more snaps here and there.