When the Pittsburgh Steelers had their turn to select in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft last month, there were a good contingent of folks that believed they were going to take a wide receiver to give some help to Ben Roethlisberger. While that was a plausible idea –he does need the help– they decided to go toward the defensive side of the ball by selecting Ryan Shazier.
So far, with the way he’s performed in camp, it appears they made the right decision by selecting the former Ohio State standout.
Recently, Steelers linebacker coach Keith Butler had nothing but high praise for his newest rookie.
“He understands concepts and picks things up a little bit easier than most rookies,” Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said. “I don’t like to play rookies, because in defensive football there’s two things that can get you beat. One of them is missed tackles, the other is mental mistakes. Normally when you try to learn this defense, it’s going to take you a little while to do it.”
To hear that Shazier is ahead of the curve at this point is tremendous news, and given the way he played while in Columbus, isn’t all that shocking quite frankly.
Even Roethlisberger, when talking about the defense, sort of mentioned someone like Shazier when he spoke about a recent conversation he had with veteran defensive back Troy Polamalu.
“I talked to Troy (Polamalu) yesterday and I told him this is a fast defense,”Ben Roethlisberger said. “We may not have a lot of names that people know, but we’re flying around. It’s tough to go against every day out there, but it’s going to be fun to watch on Sundays.”
Shazier may not be a name that people know right now, but if the comments from Butler are any indication, he will be soon.