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.