Things were pretty hectic for veteran linebacker Joe Schobert after he was traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Pittsburgh Steelers in mid-August, just four weeks before the official start of the 2021 regular season.
Changing locations, schemes, and expectations team-wise, there was a lot thrown at the former Pro Bowl linebacker in a short amount of time, while also asking him to do a ton in a new role.
Just days away from the Week 6 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field on Sunday Night Football, Schobert told reporters during his media availability Thursday that he’s starting to settle into his role in Pittsburgh, and is growing more and more comfortable within the framework of the team and the city he now calls home.
“I think there’s always things to get better at,” Schobert said to reporters Thursday, according to Steelers.com. “There’s definitely plays in every game where I wish I could have back coverage wise, but, I mean, I just go out there and try to do my job, and I think it’s more of a testament to the whole defense and being able to communicate so I can come in and feel comfortable, because I was learning the scheme through two to three weeks before the season even started. And just being able to be on the same page with the guys on the team is what’s really, I think, allowed me to just feel comfortable out there.”
Since coming over to the Steelers in the mid-August trade, Schobert has been tasked with some green dot duties, and has been lauded by Mike Tomlin, defensive coordinator Keith Butler, and fellow teammates for his football IQ and ability to communicate clearly and quickly pre-snap, providing some support in that aspect to third-year linebacker Devin Bush.
It certainly hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows since coming over to the Steelers for Schobert, who has struggled occasionally in coverage and hasn’t quite made the splash plays some are looking for. That’s coming in due time though, because Schobert is feeling much more comfortable and confident in his role, and it’s starting to show in the last two weeks against the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos.
“I think I still feel like I’m settling in, in terms of understanding the whole defensive holistically,” Schobert said. “Um, but I know my role and my responsibility on every play and as I get more reps, as you get more experienced and you start to understand all the moving pieces on defense and who’s working with who on any given play. I start to get better and understand things more.”