The Pittsburgh Steelers have been wheeling and dealing this year when it comes to acquiring players. The team made several trades prior to the 2021 regular season, and the most notable was the trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars for inside linebacker Joe Schobert.
Schobert came to Pittsburgh and was inserted into the starting lineup almost immediately. Has he hit the ground running? That might be a bit generous, but Schobert has had his ups and downs in the black and gold.
On Thursday defensive coordinator Keith Butler met with media, and was asked about Schobert’s overall play in his short tenure with the Steelers. Butler remains optimistic, and understands Schobert is still getting acclimated to Pittsburgh’s system.
“I think he’s done a good job for us in terms of what we ask him to do and how long he’s been here.” Butler said. “He hasn’t been here very long. He’s hasn’t played within the framework of the defense a lot. The things that we do and the calls that we make on the field, we’ve got to all be on the same page. We weren’t in certain situations and some of them involved him, but it doesn’t mean he was wrong. To say that he hasn’t been what we thought he’d be or something like that wouldn’t be fair to him.”
One writer specifically asked about Schobert being beat when he is on the field, and Butler wanted to make something very clear...some of the mistakes aren’t always on him.
“Some of that is him and some of it ain’t him.”
What about the deep pass to Courtland Sutton in Week 5 vs. the Denver Broncos? Was that on Schobert, or James Pierre?
“I’m not gonna name names but there are things that we’ve got shore up on and make sure we’re on the same page about.” Butler said.
With the Seattle Seahawks coming to Heinz Field Sunday night, Butler was specifically asked about how opposing teams will try to force the Steelers into putting a linebacker on a wide receiver. Who can forget Jon Bostic trying to cover Keenan Allen vs. the Chargers?
Butler realizes what offenses are trying to do, and is hoping to adjust in-game, if necessary.
“I’m sure they’ll try.” Butler replied. “They always do that. They’re gonna try to always get us matched up linebacker on wide receiver. In terms of what we try to do and our blitzing package and stuff like that, they’re running different motions—what we call jet motions where people run across and stuff like that—they try to get people out, make the corner [in four?] sometimes. They do a lot of things. They watch our film and try to see where they can needle away at us a little bit. We expect that, and hopefully we can adjust in-game if we have to.”
The hope is Schobert’s period of acclimation isn’t much longer. The Steelers really need both Schobert and Devin Bush to be on the field, together, and starting to develop the kind of rapport which is necessary to dominate the middle of the field vs. the opposition.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Seahawks this Sunday night in prime time at Heinz Field.