Dick LeBeau: Ryan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt “ahead of schedule”


On the Steelers’ first depth chart, first-round pick Ryan Shazier is listed as a starter at left inside linebacker.

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau expects that to hold up. And he believes second-round pick Stephon Tuitt will also get his share of reps at defensive end, LeBeau said Wednesday, according to the club’s website.

“I think Ryan’s going to start, and I could see Tuitt playing an awful lot of snaps,” LeBeau said, according to Steelers.com.

Both rookies are “ahead of schedule” and have “exceptional” athleticism, LeBeau said today, per the club’s website. The Steelers’ defensive coordinator also praised their willingness to accept coaching.

Tuitt is listed as a backup defensive end, but he has received starter’s reps in camp.

LeBeau’s praise, it should be noted, was somewhat measured, with no timetable placed on his expectation for success.

“I don’t know when but we’re expecting some pretty good things from those guys,” LeBeau said, per Steelers.com.

Shazier and Tuitt make their NFL game debuts Saturday night at the Giants. It should be a good test for both, as New York already has a game under its belt and could be sharp.

Now, it’s on the rookies to show they are quick studies.

35 responses to “Dick LeBeau: Ryan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt “ahead of schedule”

  1. I dig it when the Steelers play the Giants, Packers, Bears. Classic “old skool” teams laying the wood.


    If the defense can go back to allowing nine or less points a game while scoring a couple of touchdowns themselves there is a chance the Steelers can make the playoffs.

  3. I really wanted Tuitt in NE, because he has top 5 talent but had to play though a few injuries and maybe his heart isn’t the best…

    but I certainly didn’t want him in Pittsburgh. Looks like the Steelers are about to show us why.

  4. Since tebow beat them in the playoffs the steelers have 0 winning seasons and 0 playoff wins. Another non winning season on the horizon.!

  5. The Steelers D with these two additions and Mitchell at safety could be really special. There schedule looks like maybe one of the easiest too so expect 11 or 12 wins. I haven’t been this optimistic since Ben’s second year and they won it all

  6. Good luck with your team’s aging, non-playoff ability defense.

    KNOCKED OUT of the playoffs (AGAIN).

  7. The more and more I see this team, the more I’m starting to like them. This team looks young and hungry(especially the defense). They have the right mix of veterans and rookies on this team, this team is hungry, and it look likes this team has it’s swagger back!

  8. He only said that so as to counter what Kirwan had said that CJ Mosely of the Ravens would win the Rookie Defensive MVP.

    Funny…the Steelers drafted before the Ravens, but all the buzz is on the Ravens players.

  9. Giving more weapons to a defensive guru like Dick Lebeau is a bad idea.


    All of the other 31 teams in the league

  10. Have every faith that the defence will eventually re tool, however I’ve said since the draft that the long term success depends far more on the development of tuitt than of Shazier. Obviously we need Shazier to shine and may a combination of him/Jones/worilds becomes dominant. But this defence has always needed outstanding selfless 3-4 ends which have allowed our linebackers to roam. It was no coincidence that the defence’s decline coincided with the retirement of Aaron smith in particular. We sadly missed on ziggy hood but heyward has been very promising, if tuitt also steps up this defence is well equipped along with an extra cb maybe to be as good as ever.

    Can’t wait for the season and the battlefield that is the afc north. I genuinely believe there is 4 playoff caliber teams in it, the browns have been coming good, it’s going to be fun

  11. Tuitt has been getting snaps in all the sub packages while Cam Thomas has been the starting defensive end in the base 3-4 alignment. Tuitt is the pass rusher, Thomas is the designated run stuffer. Shazier has been a monster so far, his speed gets him everywhere he needs to be, fast and furiously. His pass rush abilities have been excellent, so much so that the Steelers have been moving him all over the place, inside and out.

    I’m extremely excited about both these guys. Dri Archer too, the guy is completely uncatchable once he has the ball in space. Where are the clowns calling the Steelers old? This ain’t no old team anymore. Young, fast and hungry is much more like it.

    Go Steelers!

  12. He had better hope they can play well. If the Steelers miss the playoffs again, Tomlin will make him the sacrificial lamb.

  13. Won’t stop many “experts” from trotting out the “Steelers D is old” dead horse. They probably won’t stop until Polamalu retires.

  14. 9 points or less per game in 2014?! Are you Rocky Mountain High?

    The defensive goals include reducing the number of splash plays given up, allowing fewer points, yards running and passing and getting more turnovers.

    The goal is to score at least 1 point more than their opponent and WIN GAMES.

    That’s what it takes to make the playoffs. And the Steelers are on the right track with talent that could make a difference but we won’t know until we see it on the field.

  15. LeBeau’s greatest hope for defensive success however, lies in the ability of Mike Tomlin to get in some touchdown-saving plays as he did last year.

  16. Darn it, once again my apologies for any accidental report buttons, I never hit that thing on purpose. I even accidentally reported myself once, and I wasn’t even aiming for my post. I just have big fat fingers and a tiny little phone lol

  17. Shazier and Tuitt were the two guys I wanted the Packers to draft. I think both are great fits for a 3-4 defense. Shazier might lead the league in tackles this year.

  18. Shazier was not a reach. The guy recorded a faster 40 than the fastest WR in the draft and has been working his butt off in camp. Hopefully he can get a little bit bigger without losing too much speed.

  19. Funny how Bengal and Ravens fans talk smack especially when the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game in over 20 years and the Ravens have never beaten the Steelers when it counts. And for the Clown who said Shazier was a reach will find out soon enough what a force he will be.

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