Having the opportunity and the resources to acquire starting players via trade doesn’t come around all that often, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are not a team that likes to build their roster in that manner, though they are willing to when they feel it makes sense.
The end result, though, is that it gives everybody a lot to talk about when it does happen, and the Steelers and their coaches have certainly been doing that over the course of the past few days. While they have just gotten new linebacker Joe Schobert on the field, he is already showing that he belongs.
“Man, he’s a dog”, strong safety Terrell Edmunds said after Sunday’s practice. “I barely talked to him today; we’re just getting out and getting used to knowing each other and everything. But he was out there making some calls. It seems like he pretty much knows part of the defense, at least when he was out there with us today”.
A sixth-year veteran and a four-year starter, Schobert is a tackling machine with 521 accumulated over the past four years, as well as an impressive 18 combined interceptions and forced fumbles. He has the production down. Now it’s just about being in yet another new defense.
“They threw me out on the field playing with the ones today, which is good because all those guys know about the communication”, Schobert said on Sunday. “It’s just jumping with both feet right in. Lot of meetings yesterday and today to get the basic installs written down and putting them in my memory bank. Just gotta get out here and start getting reps at it”.
While ultimate roles are still to be determined as time goes on, the Steelers are throwing everything at Schobert in the event that he will ultimately be responsible for them. That includes the role of setting the defense, which Edmunds said that he was doing a bit on his first day of practice.
The Steelers’ next preseason game is on Saturday, in which Schobert intends to play. It should be the most extensive playing time for the starters for Pittsburgh, especially since, unlike almost every other team, they have already played two preseason games.