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Steelers Edge Rusher T.J. Watt Returns, But He And Mike Tomlin Credit Unsung Hero In Week 10 Victory

Steelers Edge Rusher T.J. Watt Returns, But He And Mike Tomlin Credit Unsung Hero In Week 10 Victory

The Pittsburgh Steelers played one of, if not, their best game of the season as they defeated the New Orleans Saints, 20-10 coming off of the bye week on Sunday. The defense was stout and offense showed flashes of its potential running for 217 total yards. One of the key players in the game was a heavily criticized competitor who leaped into a starting role due to linebacker, Myles Jack‘s knee injury.

Steelers linebacker Robert Spillane

Nov 1, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Robert Spillane of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after returning an interception for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. | Mitchell Layton / USA TODAY Sports

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Accomplishes Impressive Feat After Week 10 Win Against Saints

Jack has been one of the team’s most consistent and efficient players during what has been a rather gloomy season. He has battled a knee injury recently and although he was active on Sunday, did not participate much. Tomlin credited his defense’s performance and believes it was a good thing that Jack didn’t have to be involved.

“We had him ready to go, he was willing to go. We were going to be prudent about his usage and just as the game unfolded, we liked the mix of the guys we had in there. We were getting off on third down and so conditioning and things of that nature didn’t become a factor and we were able to keep him out of the mix which was a good thing.”

Inside linebacker, Robert Spillane stepped up in a big way. He essentially sealed the victory getting in the backfield on a fourth down preventing Andy Dalton from sneaking his way to hope in the final quarter of the game. He led the team in tackles with seven and aside from a couple poor plays in coverage, was one of the key pieces to a dominant defensive effort that led to a crucial victory.

Steelers Robert Spillane

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 16: Robert Spillane #41 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after breaking up a pass during the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Acrisure Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Tomlin doesn’t necessarily see Spillane as a fill-in type of player. He legitimately believes that the team has three guys who could put a helmet on and start each and every week; an incredible advantage to have.

“Rob’s a starter-like dude. We feel like we got a pair and a spare there. We got three starting inside linebackers. He proved that today, but I think he’s continually proved that for some time.”

Most of the attention was on T.J. Watt the last two weeks leading into the game as he returned from a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in Week 1. He had four tackles and a QB hit, but acknowledged after the game that Spillane was critical for the team throughout the contest.

“He’s a very versatile player. He can blitz well, he can cover well as well and he’s just a good communicator also so that’s super important, especially when we’re at home. He did a great job today of just communicating and he made some big plays for us.”

Steelers TJ Watt

Pittsburgh Steelers edge rusher, TJ Watt (#90) participates in 2022 training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. | Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Spillane has surely had his highs and lows. Fans fell in love with him after a monster of a hit on Tennessee Titans‘ running back, Derrick Henry a couple years ago.

He has proven to be inconsistent, but shows flashes of being a pivotal piece on a star-studded defense. It seemed as if he was all over the field against New Orleans and consistently involved in the big defensive plays that led to a win. The praise from Tomlin and Watt afterwards was certainly warranted and the Steelers’ organization can hope that he builds off of his great performance and contributes in a positive manner for the rest of the season.


What are your thoughts on Spillane’s performance against the Saints? Let us know in the comments below!




  1. JB

    November 13, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    Spillane is a stud!!

  2. Mark K

    November 14, 2022 at 1:29 am

    I’ve always the he had great potential. Now maybe he’s getting there!

  3. Mark K

    November 14, 2022 at 1:34 am

    He’s young, could be the next Jack Lambert, who knows…

  4. Den

    November 14, 2022 at 8:52 am

    He’s very good at run-stopping but horrible in coverage. If the Saints went after him more the game would have been a blowout for them. As it was every time they threw in his direction it was a big play. Love his toughness and nonstop drive but in the passing game, he is a liability.

  5. Aaron Jackson

    November 14, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    went right after him 4 plays in a row and he gave up the touchdown. Teams look for who ever he is sticking and for big yards.

  6. Ken Sansonetti

    November 14, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    He has definitely stepped up in the run game. There were a few pass plays, one a touchdown when he had the coverage and then because he was looking at the quarterback, let his man open in the end zone fir a touchdown.If Spilane can pick up his game on pass coverage, he would be a next level player.

  7. Eddie Scarpelli

    November 15, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    You either know how to cover or you don’t. Spillane is a competitor but he is limited in his skill set. Rush stop and blitz. After that, he just cant cover. Shazier was one of the best at this. Defensive coordinators need to step up or, maybe, Tomlin needs to stay out of defensive scheming. We have the talent…
    Just have a problem using it

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