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If the Steelers’ main goal is stopping the run, Jon Bostic should be their man at ILB

The Pittsburgh Steelers want to stop the run in 2018, and the stats show Jon Bostic is more than capable of doing the job.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Minicamp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no secret what the Pittsburgh Steelers want to focus on defensively in 2018.

Better tackling and stopping the run.

The team struggled to do both with any type of consistency last year, and it ended up costing them a rematch with the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

Turning the page to the upcoming season, the team, and especially the defensive coaches, haven’t shied away from telling the players, media and anyone with ears the team is planning on making tackling a huge priority this preseason. They’ve already prepared their players for more live-tackling drills — this when Pittsburgh is already considered to do the most live tackling drills of any NFL team.

Nonetheless, sometimes it isn’t all about drills or practices. Tackling is very much a “want to” thing, and when Ryan Shazier left due to injury, the team failed to find a suitable replacement during the season.

But the man they brought in as a free-agent acquisition might just be the answer to their run-stopping problems — that man being none other than Jon Bostic.

Check out this statistic from Pro Football Focus (PFF):

While many will look at 18th in the league among all linebackers and think it’s far from what the team needs, compared to Sean Spence, L.J. Fort and a banged up Tyler Matakevich, it’s likely to be a huge upgrade.

At the same time, the realistic fan understands the amount of time Bostic — or any other inside linebacker for that matter — spends alongside Vince Williams will be minimal with the team’s focus on sub-package football. But you have to wonder if Bostic isn’t the player who can remain on the field during those sub-packages with the speed to cover and the ability to stop the run at the same time.

Regardless of statistics and throughout offseason workouts, it seems as if the Steelers are determined to give Matakevich a shot at the starting role considering he has been practicing with the starters throughout OTAs and minicamp. Nonetheless, who leaves training camp as the starter, and who begins training camp as the starter, are two completely different things.