This is one of the toughest offseasons the Pittsburgh Steelers organization has had to endure in quite a while. Walking into the 2021 offseason with 15+ free agents and barely any cap room made it even worse. The Steelers have had to let Bud Dupree, Matt Feiler, Mike Hilton, and other top players walk during free agency because they could not afford them. They have had to make tough decisions by cutting top defenders like Steven Nelson and Vince Williams. Although it hurts to see these guys leave it is a business and one that can be very cutthroat.
Robert Spillane recently sat down during a zoom call with the media and said he looked up to Vince Williams since day one. Not only will he miss Vince Williams he now knows he will have to step up in a big way heading into the 2021 season. The Steelers are very thin at the inside linebacker position and it seems like the Steelers are looking for another playmaker to put beside Devin Bush. They have been interviewing tons of inside linebackers through the pre-draft process and it looks like they will be drafting another inside linebacker when the draft finally arrives.
Spillane on Vince Williams: "Vince is one of the people that I've very strongly looked up to since day one in Pittsburgh," Spillane said. "He's a guy that goes about his business the right way. He plays football the right way. The energy that he brings to a defense is infections, and his ability to really rally guys together, get guys going on the same page is a high-end trait of his. We're going to miss Vince, and all that means is it's time for myself and Devin to step up and be leaders of the position group."
It will be a big challenge for Spillane, but also an opportunity he has been working hard for many years. Spillane was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Titans in 2018. Eventually, he was given a chance to play with the Steelers starting 53 man team and he shined while he was on the field.
Unfortunately in 2020 Devin Bush tore his ACL and Spillane was given the opportunity to start for the remainder of the season with the Steelers. He played great and hit like a mack truck. One of the best plays in 2020 was when Spillane stopped Derek Henry in his tracks on the one-yard line and prevented a touchdown. That was a helluva play! Now he will look to further his play in 2021 by getting a bigger opportunity to play more football.
Spillane on being ready for the 2021 season: "I think we're both looking at it as a challenge but also an opportunity," Spillane said. "We'll be ready when OTAs start, to get our guys going."