Steeler Nation, it;s been some time since a Steelers rookie made as big a splash in their very first NFL action as inside linebacker Ryan Shazier. The much anticipated debut came Saturday night and Shazier exceeded the high expectations.
It didn’t take long to see that Shazier is a special player with major skills. He began the game making 4 tackles in the opening drive,roaming the field like a one man tackling machine. Ryan Shazier ended the game with 11 total tackles, 9 on defense and 2 more on special teams. He also had an impressive interception that he returned 27 yards that set up the Steelers second touchdown of the game.
Shazier’s stats would be impressive in any game, but add in the facts that Ryan Shazier was coming back from a bruised knee injury and only played less than two quarters and those stats become phenomenal.
Shazier’s early success was no surprise to his coaches or teammates . Head Coach Mike Tomlin spoke about Shazier’s play after the game…
Mike Tomlin: “I thought he did some good things but not unlike what he’s done when he’s worked,from the instant he got here he’s proven that it’s not too big for him, so I can’t tell you that I’m surprised by his effort tonight. I’m not.”
Lawrence Timmons: “His pass coverage is awesome,you saw the tackles; he was making tackles left and right. He has the pedigree. He has all the talent and the intangibles you want in an inside linebacker.”
Cam Heyward: “He’s an athletic guy who’s very fast. We keep working with him, by season’s start, we’ll expect a lot from him. Playing that position, he’s going to make a lot of plays.”
Despite all of Ryan Shazier’s success he remained humble after the game …
Ryan Shazier: “I’m just excited to be back out on the field,just to be out there and show everyone what I can do. You’re always nervous your first game. The NFL was the dream of my life. I finally got the opportunity to do it.”
Steeler Nation, it’s very early and we are just scratching the surface with the play of rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier .Shazier was a big hit in his debut and there is great reason to believe that the hits will keep coming with Shazier on the field.
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