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Steelers See Patrick Queen as Long-Sought Every-Down Linebacker: ‘Can’t Tell You How Exciting It Is’

The Pittsburgh Steelers see linebacker Patrick Queen as a long-sought every down solution at the position, head coach Mike Tomlin said.



Pittsburgh Steelers LB Patrick Queen
Patrick Queen speaks at a press conference about his contract signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, Friday, March 15, 2024 in Pittsburgh, PA. (Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers)

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Steelers will use newly acquired linebacker Patrick Queen as an all-situations player, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Sunday.

That shouldn’t be a surprise, as Queen was the most-played player on the Baltimore Ravens defense last season, recording 1,121 snaps — 96.9% of the Baltimore defensive snaps, and more than even first-team All-Pro Roquan Smith.

With the Steelers, he will likely play in the base defense, and the Nickel and Dime sub-packages, and could also be the green-dot communicator for the defense, as he was in Baltimore.

“He’s an all situations linebacker, and so that’s exciting,” Tomlin said Sunday at the 2024 NFL owner’s meetings. “He’s a guy that’s a three-down player. He’s a guy that can do a lot of things, can tackle, can cover, can blitz and he’s 24 and a half years old, so he’s got that great combination of youth and experience and I think those are some of the reasons why we are really excited about bringing him on board and can’t tell you how exciting it is just because of the familiarity, as well. We’ve seen a lot of him, he’s seen a lot of us and it’s going to be an exciting marriage.”

Queen shared an amusing story about Tomlin telling him during a Steelers-Ravens game that Queen wasn’t meant to be a Raven. 

“When I was on their sideline my rookie year Mike Tomlin was looking at me, yelling at me, ‘You’re not a Raven. You’re not a Raven. You’re not supposed to be there. You’re not one of them.’ So, every time I play them there’s something personal,” Queen said back in October. “I don’t care if he was joking. I don’t care if he was serious. At the end of the day I’m on your sideline and you’re telling me I’m not a Raven. That’s kind of disrespectful.”

Tomlin declined to get into that conversation, but said he’s excited about having Queen, and that there was no disrespect intended or bad blood between them that needed to be smoothed out before Queen joined the Steelers.

“I could but I won’t,” he said with a laugh. “There’s certain gamesmanship that occurs in-game — banter, if you will — I’m a participant in that. I think we all are. And so that’s all that was. Obviously I like Patrick Queen because we did business with him and so it’s probably more tip of the cap and probably should have been perceived that way more than anything else. By the time we got in front of each other, man, finances and things of that nature had already been discussed, so all of that is water under the bridge.