Steelers Hope Rookie LB Ryan Shazier Can Make An ‘Impact’ With His Run Tackles

With Pittsburgh Steelers rookie inside linebacker Ryan Shazier already pegged to be a starter in 2014, the team hopes that he will make an immediate impact when it comes to helping stopping the run.

Part of stopping the run includes making “impact tackles” and those are defined by NFL Network researcher Matt Hamilton as being in on tackles resulting in gains of 3 yards or less, tackles for loss, sacks or fumbles, or tackles on third or fourth down if they stopped the conversion.

Using Hamilton’s criteria, I went back through Shazier’s 2013 games at Ohio State and by my count, he was in on a whopping 67 “impact tackles”. Keep in mind that the 67 number includes his sacks and any tackles in the passing game that went for a gain of 3 yards or less as well. It also includes assists as whole numbers. Even so, that number makes up 46.9% of his total tackles last season.

In order to give that number a little bit of perspective, the Steelers defense had 326 plays against them last season that went for three yards or less, according to Pro Football Reference.

Want even more perspective? During his 2001 rookie season, Kendrell Bell was involved in 51 plays that met the “impact tackle” criteria listed above.

Several of you are probably curious as to how many “impact tackles” C.J. Mosley had in 2013. By my count, he had 54.

  • Aric Brown

    For being somewhat of an under the radar pick this kid is getting an extraordinary amount of expectations/hype… i hope he delivers

  • SteelersDepot

    perhaps the best thing about him early on is that he has “mistake speed”.

  • Ben Anderson

    Mosley seemed like such a solid citizen. It’s a pity that I’m now destined to hate him.

  • ApexSteel

    That was my biggest knock on him. He played too slow mentally and he over ran a LOT of plays. Sammy Watkins made him look like a fool.

  • Craig Ressler

    With his run/chase speed I think we can count on it.

  • afrazier9

    We need to have him hit the wait room and be able to take on oline man that come at him

  • Madi

    Sammy Watkins went and got himself drafted by the Bills, while Shazier got to come to the Steelers. Now who’s the fool? 😉

  • frednash

    great name


  • steelster

    He already is. He added 10 pounds of muscle before the draft.

  • Amuzon12

    Dave, Did you skip lunch to go back through his 2013 games to get that impact total? That’s impressive!…..and that’s what keeps me coming back to Steelers Depot! Thanks!

  • afrazier9

    Thanks buddy

  • SteelersDepot

    I never skip lunch.

  • cp72

    I agree it wasn’t his best game. He did show some serious speed catching Sammy down the side line.

  • Aric Brown

    i agree with what you are saying… but cmon now a top talent WR should make a LB look like a fool

  • Hard Row

    It’s good to see some relevant tackle stats. The normal tackle stats don’t mean much because it counts an assist the same as a solo and it doesn’t tell you where the tackle was made. A tackle in the hole for a loss counts the same as a guy pile jumping 10 yards downfield.

    It would be like judging WR by receptions without taking yards per catch or TDs into account.

    It seems the first step to improve the tackle stat would be to give half a tackle for an assist. They do that for sacks. Why not tackles?

    I think teams actually like the inflated tackle stats because then you can point to an average player with a ton of tackles and tell your fans he’s worth the money you overpaid for him.

  • ApexSteel

    Clemson was just one example. He looked bad against Michigan State also (those are the only good teams they played). His flaws aren’t irremediable, but he definitely has to read plays a lot faster if he wants to keep his job.

  • ApexSteel

    I would rather have a lot of his tackles come of off a quick read on a run play than him reading it slow and chasing down receivers.

  • Jeff

    Sammy Watkins would make any LB in the NFL look like a fool… But I see your point

  • Skinny Merlino

    I watched a replay of a osu game 2 months ago forget who they were playing but almost every play I saw shazier in the mix was really impressive this kids got the it factor

  • Weiss Chad

    I don’t think there is a linebacker in the league that can cover Sammy Watkins is there?just the fact he was covering Watkins says a lot.

  • Bill Sechrengost

    I was watching NFL Network early this morning (why do I watch that network??), and they were showing four defensive players who might get the NFL rookie of the year award, and, of course, Ryan Shazier wasn’t one of them. They even had Ha Ha Clinton Dix as one of the four. Give me a break. I think Clowney and Justin Gilbert and Mack were the other three, I believe. I think Shazier could have a better year than the other three.

  • ApexSteel

    He didn’t cover him. He was juked and run over by him when he chased him after some screens. And like I said it was more than just that game. His reads were slow every game. Clemson and Michigan State were the only teams good enough to make him pay for it.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Well, I really like this kid and hope he lives up to billing. I’m excited about him having sacks, he’s already shown that he will be a force to deal with in coverage. I’m not as excited about him stopping the run. Granted we don’t have huge backs like Bettis but can he get off NFL linemen. Does he have the strength. Speed is great and that’s all I hear but at his position, we need strength.

    Quiet as kept Vince Williams was good against the run. He’s a bit bigger and slower but proved he can hold his own against the run. Forget about sacks or coverage.