Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier put forth the best game of his young career in Sunday’s 43-18 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
The No. 15 overall pick from a year ago racked up a career-best 15 tackles, his first NFL sack, plus a forced fumble and recovery. He harassed his former Ohio State teammate Carlos Hyde in the 49ers backfield, recording three tackles for loss.
“I kind of knew that I was going to be involved, because when you play a lot of teams that like to run the ball, the linebackers are involved in the game a little bit more,” Shazier said via Kris Lancaster of the Beaver County Times. ”I just read the quarterback’s eyes, and when he brought his eyes down I kind of felt that he was running, so I went in for the kill."
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The Steelers have been waiting for a game like this from Shazier, whose rookie season was a disappointment due to inconsistent play and injuries. In fact, Shazier ended up leaving Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury, which he said wasn’t serious.
“I expect [Shazier] to have an impact in whatever stadium he’s in,” Tomlin said. “He’s that kind of player. He’s sharp and has gained experience. We expect his arrow to be pointed up week in and week out. He brings that approach, so I’m not surprised when he plays well.”