Ever since the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier Thursday night in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, it seems like there’s been a lot of talk about his weight. On Saturday, linebackers coach Keith Butler weighed in on the Shazier weight topic.
“I want him to move,” said Butler. “I don’t want him to get so big that he can’t move. And a lot of times young linebackers get in their head that, I got to weigh 250 or 260, or something, and that’s bull crap to me. To me, can they move and can they be where they need to be when they need to be there, and this guy can do that.”
At the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Shazier was listed as weighing 237 pounds and Butler was asked if 235 pounds sounded about right for the Ohio State product.
“I don’t know if he’s going to be 235,” said Butler. “We’ll see. I don’t know if he’s that much. Look, Potsie [James Farrior] played at 225, 230 his last two years in the league and he was a Pro Bowl guy. One year I thought he should have been the NFL defensive player of the year and he was 230.”
While he’s only been a member of the Steelers for just a few days, it’s looking like Shazier will be expected to start at the mack linebacker position come the start of the 2014 season. Should he indeed accomplish that feat, it would likely mean that Lawrence Timmons would be moved over to the buck position.
“Probably, probably,” said Butler when asked if Timmons would be kicked over to the buck spot permanently. “That’s probably the best move to make right now and it would probably be easier for him.”
Butler when on to explain that reasoning.
“Normally, if you think about that position in our defense linebacker-wise, the buck position is usually the position that makes most of the plays. Historically, I think that goes way back before I was even here. So we’ll see what happens with that.
To say that Butler was glad to get Shazier in the first round is understatement.
“With him, we couldn’t pass him up when he was there,” said Butler. “I mean, there was a lot of guys we liked around that area and all those guys got drafted. And so, when he came and he’s got that type of speed, you cant pass something like that up. He’s going to make us immediately faster on defense.”