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.