Tyler Matakevich Continues Earning Coaching Staff’s Praise

There have been only a handful of consistent bright spots on the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. Antonio Brown. Javon Hargrave. Tyler Matakevich’s name should be tossed into that conversation. A special teams standout, he’s been rewarded as a captain the past two weeks.

Mike Tomlin praised his efforts at today’s press conference.

“He’s made some significant special teams plays for us,” Tomlin said. “He blocked a kick in Week One. He foiled the fake punt in Week Two. We’re doing our special teams captain based on merit and play within games. He’s been a really positive, consistent performer so far.”

While according to ESPN, he has just one tackle on the year, his impact has been felt in other ways. It’s been a strong start to the season for the man known affectionately as Dirty Red. He had an excellent training camp and earned the coaching staff’s trust to be the immediate backup at both inside linebacker spots. And he’s flourished in the game’s third phase, bailing the team out and picking them up when other units, like the offense, have struggled.

Whoever performs the best on special teams each week will earn the “stick,” a black and gold painted walking stick courtesy of Danny Smith, and be named captain for the following week. Two goals Matakevich said he’s chasing.

““You gotta take some pride in it,” Matakevich told Mike Prisuta after the Week One victory. “If you’re not trying to get that stick every week, what are we doing?”

After the Minnesota Vikings game, he told the Trib’s Joe Rutter what he saw on the fake punt.

“At the snap of the ball, he didn’t even try to block me. He was just running a route, so you knew something was up.”

It remains to be seen if he Matakevich will ever be a starter on defense in this league, though the Steelers are seemingly very confident in him and his future. But he’s already established himself as a top special teamer on this group. And is being rightfully rewarded.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • srdan

    After so many rushing yards, I would have loved to see 44 and 92 on the field. We had to try to change something.

  • Charles Mullins

    I think it goes to VM this week.

  • DoctorNoah


  • pittsburghjoe

    I love this guy… pure effort. Every championship team needs a dirty red or two on their roster.

  • Dorian James

    Way to go red

  • Steeldog22

    We did see him on the field. Let Shaheen run right by him to catch that TD in the end zone.

  • Wil Masisak

    Um, no mention of the pooch Matakevich screwed on Sunday?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Too bad Tyler wasn’t on the end of the line for the kick attempt at the end of the half. Not sure what X was doing on the play it looked like he gave a nice double team block to the player on his right while allowing the guy right in front of him to run untouched and block the kick. Back to Tyler he’s a really good ST’s player. Just for the two plays outlined in the article he deserves the ST’s “C” on his jersey

  • Conserv_58

    I was so hoping that the Steelers would pick Shaheen in the draft, but the bears got him at the 45th pick in the second round.

  • Conserv_58

    Martavis let what could have been a game changing pass sail right through his fingers and Eli Rogers allowed a kicked ball to sail through his hands which was picked up by the bears and returned for a TD. The bottom line is Matakevich, being a seventh round pick, exceeded expectations by simply making the final roster, let alone become a solid contributor to the team. There is also the fact that when it comes to the Steelers getting a big return on their investment they absolutely got lot of game for their bucks with Tyler.