Steelers News

Myles Jack Looking To Bolster Run Defense With Feeling, Physicality: ‘Strike That Lineman And Get Off The Block’

While the Pittsburgh Steelers defense has a number of talented players—and even had most of them last season—they as a unit fell woefully, woefully short as a run-stopping unit. It didn’t help that they played most of the year without two of their three starting defensive linemen, and their inside linebackers were not up to where they needed to be.

They are hoping to get more out of the duo they are bringing to the field this year, which includes a face new to the team in veteran linebacker Myles Jack. Jack was signed in March after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, replacing Joe Schobert, whom the Steelers released shortly after the signing.

Speaking with Wes Uhler and Tom Opferman for Steelers Blitz, Jack was asked about how they can improve the run game, and what role he can play in getting that aspect of the defensive unit as a whole turned around and headed in the right direction.

“I think the main thing I’m very active with is just knowing my run gap, filling the defensive line if somebody gets bumped a gap or two, I can replace it”, he said. “Just being where I’m supposed to be. I think that’s the main thing, just building that wall, so that way they don’t have those gaps and those seams to be there”.

“When you diagnose run, hurry up and get down, strike that lineman and get off the block”, he continued. “It’s a quick thing. It’s a quick feeling, and I feel like I have that, being in the league for going on my seventh year. I’m happy to contribute, and I can’t wait to be a part of this”.

Jack’s enthusiasm to be in Pittsburgh has been evident since he got here—though, so was Melvin Ingram’s. In his case, however, I can’t see him ending up with a lesser role than he was anticipating when he first signed.

The Steelers did make some significant changes to the coaching staff, promoting Teryl Austin to defensive coordinator after Keith Butler retired, and adding Brian Flores as senior defensive assistant/linebackers, as well. Jack has raved about the opportunity to work with Flores, and even cited it as one of the main reasons he chose to sign with the Steelers in the first place.

Everything sounds great in May, though, which anybody who’s followed the NFL with any degree of interest for more than a year or two has surely observed. Maintaining that same level of unbridled enthusiasm and actually matching that with in-game performances is incredibly rare.

Is Jack the man for the job? He won’t be doing it alone. The Steelers should be getting Tyson Alualu and Stephon Tuitt back in the trenches after the two combined to miss all but two games last season. And Devin Bush should be in a better place, both physically and mentally, than where he was in 2021. At least that’s what we can tell ourselves during OTAs, the period of optimism.

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