If a silver lining comes out of any harm for a franchise, it’s getting an opportunity to see what someone else can do when the chance presents itself. Final season, that chance for the Pittsburgh Steelers went to Robert Spillane. An undrafted inside linebacker reduce by the Tennessee Titans after one season, Spillane entered his second Steeler season as an afterthought on the place behind first-rounder Devin Bush and the long-tenured Vince Williams. However then Week 6 occurred.
Bush suffered a season-ending ACL harm. Somebody needed to substitute him, and Spillane was the subsequent man up. Slightly-thought-of participant when 2020 started, Spillane did nicely with the chance and made himself a part of the dialogue for the protection in 2021. Receiving 377 defensive snaps in 2020, Spillane spoke concerning the probability to make use of what he discovered in 2020 to proceed enhancing this coming season.
“I look to proceed to enhance, as everybody on this crew does,” Spillane mentioned throughout a Thursday media session following OTAs. “You discover issues in your recreation you could enhance on, and having that have, that movie from final yr, I can have a look at issues and determine, ‘That is one thing that I would like to wash up, or one thing that I do nicely that I need to do even higher subsequent yr.’”
Taking part in alongside Williams because the crew’s two main linebackers following Bush’s harm, Spillane recorded 38 tackles in his seven begins alongside Vince Williams. He led the crew in stops in two of these video games, the crew’s two matchups towards the Baltimore Ravens. Over the course of your entire season, Spillane completed with 45 tackles (4 for a loss), 4 passes defensed, a fumble restoration, and an interception returned for a landing.
Spillane’s season is remembered partially for these Baltimore video games, and partially for a signature sort out on third down towards Tennessee Titans’ 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry, stopping Henry wanting the tip zone on a play on the one-yard line.
He was probabilities so as to add extra to his 2020 alternative, however suffered a season-ending harm in his seventh begin, towards Washington. His efficiency was greater than only a large hit on the NFL’s greatest working again and a pair sturdy showings towards one in all Pittsburgh’s greatest rivals.
It was an unheralded participant stepping up and seizing his alternative, and making himself a part of the Steelers’ future at inside linebacker. Working in OTAs and the remainder of the offseason, Spillane says he’s utilizing what he discovered and his movie from his 2020 alternative to enhance his efficiency in 2021.
“There’s a number of features to work on all through any offseason, however particularly having that movie final yr and that time of reference, I can return and have a look at sure strategies and talents that I’ve been engaged on this offseason,” Spillane mentioned.