PITTSBURGH (AP)—Ryan Shazier let Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler sprint by him before the rookie Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker gave chase.
The moment Chandler appeared to be open down the seam, EJ Manuel lofted a pretty spiral in Chandler’s direction.
It looked like the right decision. It wasn’t.
Shazier needed all of two steps to close the gap on Chandler. One well-timed leap and the 15th pick in May’s draft had the ball in his hands. By the time he was finally tackled more than 25 yards downfield, the Steelers were in Buffalo territory – and any concerns about Shazier’s banged-up right knee were long forgotten.
So much for that “boo boo” coach Mike Tomlin kept talking about.
In the span of a precocious half during Pittsburgh’s 19-16 win Saturday night, Shazier did more than make up for the week he lost while nursing his knee back to health. He offered proof he’s ready to handle his role in what the Steelers hope is a defensive revival in 2014.