Tomlin Says ILB Roles Will Be Decided On Later In The Year

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made more changes to their inside linebacker room than any other position group in the offseason. Myles Jack, Devin Bush, and Robert Spillane have all departed in one way or another. Enter Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts along with promising second-year player Mark Robinson.

Speaking at this year’s league meetings, Mike Tomlin recognized all the changes but didn’t lay out a specific plan for each player’s role.’s Dale Lolley sent out this tweet with Tomlin’s comments earlier Sunday.

Holcomb will almost certainly be the team’s everydown linebacker, a role the team has been looking to replace since Ryan Shazier’s career-ending spinal injury. Devin Bush and Myles Jack were both failed attempts to do that.

Holcomb served as an everydown player for the Washington Commanders last season.and tested as a quality athlete coming out of North Carolina, running a 4.51 40. He’s almost certain to wear the green dot for the Steelers, the hub if communication, next season.

From there, it gets murkier. Roberts and Robinson are similar players, right down to their size, style, and heck, even nearly their last name. Billed as two-down thumpers, they could be competing for the same role later in the summer. Robinson impressed in training camp last season and in limited action as a rookie, seeing run-specific snaps late in the year.

“We were down there at his pro day and just liked his play demeanor,” Tomlin said via’s Dale Lolley. “And that has not changed over the seven years that has been his career. So we’re glad to add him into the fold. And Holcomb is an athletic guy. He can run. He can do a lot of things. He’s put together nice body work in Washington.”

What could muddy the waters even more is if the team drafts the position next month. They’ve shown interest in the likes of Iowa’s Jack Campbell, Tulane’s Dorian Williams, and Wisconsin’s Nick Herbig, who will likely switch from an EDGE player in college to an off-ball player in the NFL. Herbig is also the brother of new Steelers’ guard Nate Herbig.

Pittsburgh is clearly attacking the position aggressively and with that comes a level of uncertainty. But ideally, it’ll be for the greater good, to improve and upgrade the unit that didn’t make enough big plays last season. If not, the team’s search will again continue.


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