Elandon Roberts Relishing Opportunity To Join Steelers: ‘It Took Seven Years, But God’s Timing Be Right On’

During his introductory press conference with the Pittsburgh Steelers today, newly signed linebacker Elandon Roberts made his admiration for the organization clear. Roberts, a seventh-year veteran who has experience with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, talked about his love for Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin and the respect he’s had for Pittsburgh while watching from afar.

“I’ve always admired the organization. I’ve always admired how they operated. I’ve always heard good things about Coach Mike (Tomlin). I met Mike a long time ago at my Pro Day and I’ve always said to myself, my wife, if I had the opportunity, it would be hard to pull me from that one. And God don’t make mistakes,” Roberts said via a video on the team’s website.

Roberts talked about how much he loves the idea of having a coach as involved and active as Tomlin is on game days and how that adds an extra element of motivation.

“They’re a well-coached organization,” Roberts said. “I’ve always admired the organization, because when you’re playing them guys, Mike T be all on the field with them. Even though you’re playing with your brother next to you, just to know, ‘Man, I’m playing for my coaches too,’ like he all on the field. That’s dope. It’s been a dope experience watching it from the other side of the football.”

The respect Tomlin commands from players around the NFL has been well-documented, and it’s cool to see that Roberts’ respect and love for his new head coach is seemingly a big reason why he ended up in Pittsburgh. He also mentioned how he had other suitors in free agency, but was focused on signing with Pittsburgh. It’s always good to have guys on the roster who seemingly understand and respect what they need to bring to the organization before things really ramp up in training camp. It seems as if Roberts knows what being a Pittsburgh Steeler is all about.

With the release of linebacker Myles Jack and linebackers Devin Bush and Robert Spillane both leaving in free agency, Pittsburgh currently has Cole Holcomb, who signed with the team last week, in addition to Roberts, 2022 seventh-round pick Mark Robinson, and Tae Crowder under contract to make up a new-look inside linebacker corps. Roberts and Holcomb are the presumed starters, and if both are able to stay healthy, their ability in the run game should serve them well in Pittsburgh.

Roberts comes to Pittsburgh after a season in which he racked up a career-high 107 tackles and 4.5 sacks for the Miami Dolphins. With Miami going in a different direction defensively after the hiring of Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator, the team let Roberts hit the open market. Now he ends up in Pittsburgh, playing under a coach he’s always admired in Tomlin. For his career, Roberts has 456 total tackles, 11 sacks and 10 pass deflections. He was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Houston.

On paper, Roberts is an upgrade over anything the Steelers had at linebacker last year, as both Bush and Jack didn’t live up to expectations. Given his motivation to play for the Steelers and Tomlin, I’m hopeful that Roberts’s production will match what the Steelers are looking for — and help stabilize an inside linebacker position that’s been in flux for the Steelers since Ryan Shazier’s career-ending injury.

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