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Key to Ryan Shazier's speed: Don't think

Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive rookies rarely see the playing field, but Ryan Shazier might break that mold in 2014.

Joe Sargent

In a recent radio interview with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Steelers' rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier gave away his secret to utlizing his 4.38 40-yard dash speed in the game of football.

"Don't think too much," he said in the interview Thursday. "When I think too much it causes me to play slow."

Makes the game of football seem pretty basic. Don't think, just play, but in the Dick LeBeau 3-4 scheme, raw talent can't be the only talent relied on, and thought has to come into play. There have been numerous players that have entered the Steelers' defensive team room and have experienced that delay on the field from the enormous playbook and complexities of the defense.

Lawrence Timmons didn't see the field very often as a rookie, and the learning curve was steep for him. Due to injury, Vince Williams had to start last year, and you could see that he looked overwhelmed at times. Shazier has something that neither Timmons or Williams have, and that is his undeniable speed.

Shazier looks to rely on his speed to make up for mental errors on the field, but the coaching staff will have him prepared to see the field in situations where he doesn't have to think too much, but just react and chase down the ball carrier.

Shazier has the rare combination of size, speed and athleticism. Almost a combination of both Timmons and Williams at the inside linebacker position. The Steelers will need that speed and play making ability this year, but lets just hope Shazier doesn't think too much.