Who’s replacing Ryan Shazier?
So far, Tyler Matakevich is the starting inside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. No one saw it coming before the summer, or after they signed Jon Bostic, but right now, it’s happening.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Matakevich is known for his athleticism and ability to drop back in coverage. His five interceptions during his senior year at Temple leave no question whether he’s the best pass defending inside linebacker on the roster.
More from Still Curtain
- 4 reasons Steelers are making a mistake keeping Matt Canada
- Steelers Twitter continues to blow up over decision to keep Matt Canada
- Retaining Matt Canada is an idiotic choice for the Steelers
- Steelers news: Matt Canada will return for 2023 season, fans upset, and more
- Steelers mantra ‘The standard is the standard’ has been pushed to the limit
Jon Bostic was brought here for a reason, though. This team didn’t make a big deal in signing an inside linebacker for nothing. They knew they needed to fill a void and went out prior to the draft and signed one.
That doesn’t guarantee him anything, especially not a starting job. Fans may want Bostic before Matakevich, but if Pittsburgh sees something in the Temple grad, they’ll stick to their gut.
They’ve developed some of the best linebackers to come through the league. James Harrison wasn’t a name people wanted to see until he was leading the league in sacks. Maybe that’s the path Matakevich is on.
Maybe it’s not and Bostic just doesn’t know the defense well enough. But if he doesn’t get it by the end of training camp, or maybe even the middle, chances are he isn’t getting the starting job. Leaving some enormous questions to be answered at the position.