The Pittsburgh Steelers made waves Thursday night, during their preseason game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, when it was rumored the team was in the process of trading for inside linebacker Joe Schobert. The Jaguars traded Schobert to Pittsburgh for a 6th round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, all while picking up some of his 2021 salary.
A great deal for the Steelers, who needed depth at the position, but there is so much more to this situation than just a player being traded to a new team. The process can be difficult, and can also impact the player’s performance on the field.
Schobert had his first practice with the team on Sunday, and he met with media following his first practice session. It was there when he was asked about if he thought he might be a player on the trading block as training camp came to a close.
“I think it came out of the blue from my perspective.” Schobert said. “There were no warning signs or any predetermined stuff. I was talking to the defensive coaches right after I talked to the general manager and they were pretty shocked about it, so I think it was just kind of something that came out of the blue and just happened.”
The follow up question was if Schobert was sad to be leaving Jacksonville, even though he had only spent a season there.
“Well, I wasn’t sad, but it was kind of stressful, especially during the middle of training camp because I’ve got a wife and kids, a dog, house down in Jacksonville. I’m gonna have to figure out the logistics of moving them up. But I wouldn’t say I was sad, no. Just a little stressful, a little shock to the system.”
If you are like me, you always want to know what goes behind closed doors. In this regard, how did it happen when Schobert was told he was going to be traded to the Steelers?
“We had a team meeting in Jacksonville, like six o’clock.” Schobert recalled. “That was the last meeting of the day, and then after that the general manager came up to me and was like, “Hey, Joe. I need to see you in my office.” I was like, “Who?” It’s never a good thing when a general manager asks that, but I found out, I think, before pretty much anything. I hear about people finding out on Twitter all the time. They were able to tell me, get me notified before something like that happened.”
The first person to break the story on Schobert coming to PIttsburgh wasn’t Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero or Jeremy Fowler. It was his wife. Nonetheless, when Schobert met with the general manager he was given the details of the process.
“The general manager just told me that Pittsburgh called 12 hours before I had a meeting with them and was very persistent in trying to get a deal done to get me up here. That was the reason that he said. He said, “It’s a good situation. I wouldn’t put you in it if it wasn’t a good situation for you and your family, coming up to Pittsburgh being on a good team.” So that’s what I was told.”
While Schobert has only been in Pittsburgh a few days, he can already tell a difference between the Steelers and other organizations.
“I think it’s a first-class organization.” Schobert said. “You can see that, obviously, through meetings, talking to coaches. Everybody’s been here a long time and people know what the standard is. It’s understood in meetings and practice how to take care of your body from the top down. It’s been nothing but a pleasant surprise for me, coming here.”
With the minutia of moving from Jacksonville to Pittsburgh likely calming down in the coming days/weeks, Schobert will have to try his best to focus on the game of football. His role with the Steelers is relatively unknown at the current time, but the team is expecting big things from him in 2021. Hopefully he can deliver.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.