The Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious in their third preseason game when they beat the Detroit Lions 26-20, but there were many storylines inside the final score. One of those was the first action of recent trade acquisition Joe Schobert.
On paper, Schobert didn’t do anything spectacular. In fact, just look at his stat line from the game Saturday night:
Stat Line: 3 tackles, 1 solo tackle
Schobert was noticeable on the field, for some good and some bad, and that is to be expected after just getting to Pittsburgh a little over a week ago. Nonetheless, Schobert was asked after the Week 2 preseason game what he thought of his performance.
“It was good.” Schobert said. “This was my first live-action of any kind. In training camp, we didn’t tackle in practice in Jacksonville, and I got traded before the first game, so it was jumping into the first out there. It was good though, I think. A little concern just in my job and my responsibility so I didn’t play as fast as I could, but I think, overall, it was a good night.”
When Schobert gave his performance more thought, and realized the quick turnaround since coming from the Jaguars to the Steelers, he felt his first game was a success.
“No, yeah. Exactly. A bunch of three-and-outs, offense had a lot of long drives, defense didn’t really have to do a lot in the first half, so it was a success in my book.”
It isn’t like Schobert is going to a team full of first contract players and rookies. No, he is being engulfed with veterans like Cam Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Tyson Alualu, T.J. Watt and Melvin Ingram.
Schobert realizes just how important that is for him when getting acclimated with his new team/defense.
“It’s huge. Having veterans on this team at every level, coming into it as a new player in a new scheme, has been a huge boon for me.” Schobert admits. “Those guys have been doing a great job. They communicate all of their responsibilities and my responsibility when I’m in coverage or something with them or rushing with Cam [Heyward] and those guys. They do a great job, and it’s great for me to have a group like them around me.”
Schobert’s play even got the attention of his teammates. After the game, second year pass rusher Alex Highsmith had this to say about Schobert’s debut.
“Yeah, you know it’s been great having Joe so far. As soon as he came in, he’s been a guy who has worked hard, and I just can see that in him. I see a guy who really wants to be the best he can be for this team and so it was good being able to be with him. You know, some of the rest of the guys as well like Cam and some of the other guys and Tyson, so it’s been great so far. I’m excited for him to continue to work his way into this defense and so I know he’s going bring a lot to the table.”
Schobert’s debut was short-lived, and far from memorable, but could also be the first step in him helping make the Steelers’ defense even better in 2021. The next step will be the Carolina Panthers game Friday night, and then onto the Week 1 game vs. the Buffalo Bills.
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.