A Look At Matt Spaeth Versus The Browns

By Matthew Marczi

Matt Spaeth shored up a critical deficiency as a second true tight end when he returned from injury following the first three months of the season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers already started the year without Heath Miller, and it wasn’t too much longer that they also lost David Johnson, who was at the time the only other tight end on the roster with any semblance of blocking ability. It was obvious that the team was lacking a second tight end.

The team tried to make do, first using Kelvin Beachum as a second tight end before left tackle Mike Adams was benched. He then subsequently became the second tight end for a large stretch of the season until Spaeth finally returned.

That second tight end availability came in handy early in the first quarter when the Steelers were facing a third and one. Spaeth got off a great block on linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, driving him down the field and keeping his feet churning through the whistle as Jonathan Dwyer secured the first down.

After Brett Keisel sacked Jason Campbell and stripped him of the ball, the Steelers took over the ball with about four minutes to play in the first quarter. On first down, Ben Roethlisberger tossed a screen pass to fullback Will Johnson, who followed the blocks of his tight ends for a nine-yard gain.

Spaeth certainly had nothing to do with this play resulting in failure. It’s easy to overlook a good block on a play that ends up being a bust, but the veteran tight end put a good block on Jackson again here despite the fact that Le’Veon Bell ended up being tackled for no gain, thanks in part to Miller.

Once again, this run late in the game didn’t even go in Spaeth’s direction, but that doesn’t prevent him from continuing to do his job with energy when many other players often phone it in on the weak side.

At this point in the game, the Steelers were just looking to run out the clock, as they were already up 17-0 and a penalty on a punt return put them on Cleveland’s own 22-yard line. This was a simple clock-killing two-yard carry by Dwyer, yet Spaeth gave full effort in keeping Jabaal Sheard well out of the play.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • JAMESH

    In the second GIF, isolate on Marcus Gilbert.

  • JAMESH

    I dislike him the way some people dislike LaMarr Woodley.

  • steeltown

    Ha!
    On the other end of the spectrum, look at Cody Wallace in the 1st gif, awesome

  • steeltown

    Love Spaeth, he’s experienced and a hard worker, not to mention affordable. It was cool that he got that TD late in the season.

  • 20Stoney

    Wallace is looking like a guy that wants to be in the NFL. He is driving people around in 1, 3 and 4. Does the job in #2 also.

  • 20Stoney

    Gilbert always strikes me as a guy that isn’t overly motivated. I’d really like to see some competition between him and Adams next season.

  • steeltown

    Agreed.. let them battle for RT.. and may the best man win

  • Mark

    I really like Wallace’s nastiness. He completely drove that one guy out of the field of view. Gilbert doesn’t seem motivated, quick or smart. Hes reached his full potential and won’t get any better. Adams is still learning and is only going to improve. He played fairly good at LT at the end of the year.

  • srdan

    Apparently so do the rooneys.

  • srdan

    That is a great TD rec to reception ratio for the year!

  • srdan

    I think we overlook how much he was missed in the first part of the season. Him and Plax were going to have big roles on this team, especially in the redzone.

  • Superdriller316

    Can we teach Cody to play tackle?

  • steeltown

    Haha would be nice, but I don’t think he’s played Tackle since his highschool days. I know he’s moved around a lot since entering the League, but he is a damn good football player and we’d be foolish to not lock him up

  • gevins

    Watch Cody Wallace in all the GIFs. We need to sign him back.

  • Intropy

    What is going on with Gilbert in the third gif? I guess he prevents his guy from doing anything, but it looks pretty odd.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Just for fun…what if Spaeth bulked up and played OT ? I bet he’d be good.

  • Steve

    Gilbert and Adams both give half as*ed blocks. Neither has done anything to impress. It is a shame, as Big as they are that they can’t do more but they are not brawlers, it looks like they do not enjoy what they are doing, they are both just glad to get the paycheck. In the 2nd Gif Gilbert looks like he is happy to be on the ground after giving a wiff block. In the last Gif Gilbert again falls to the ground and his man makes the tackle. Don’t know how he don’t get stepped on more, for as much as he is on the ground. That might teach Gilbert, if he gets stepped on to get up quickly.