CLEVELAND — The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Cleveland Browns in a 13-10 heartbreaker on Sunday, but it was certainly not the fault of the defense, despite some key missing pieces.
The Steelers allowed just 259 yards of offense and held the Browns’ No. 2 ranked rushing offense to under 100 yards. Steelers inside linebacker Elandon Roberts played a big part in the defense’s performance, recording a career-high 15 combined tackles, which tied for the fourth-most in franchise history.
Lawrence Timmons had 17 tackles in 2013, Dewayne Washington had 17 in 2001 and Vince Williams had 16 in 2016 as the only three Steelers to have more tackles than Roberts’ 15 since tackles began being counted as an individual stat.
“I didn’t even know I had that many tackles until the end of the game,” Roberts said. “I was really just out there doing my job, communicating, trying to get the defense into the right place.”
Roberts’ place on that list is very impressive, especially considering all the legendary defensive players that have played for the Steelers throughout the years.
Roberts has stepped up tremendously at inside linebacker with Cole Holbcomb and Kwon Alexander out for the season. Over the last two games, Roberts has recorded 29 tackles, 17 of which were solos, and three tackles for loss. Safeties Keanu Neal and Minkah Fitzpatrick also missed Sunday’s game, leaving Roberts and safety Damontae Kazee as the lone experienced veterans in the center of the defense.
The Steelers signed Roberts to a two-year, $7 million contract on March 16, 2023 after his contract with the Miami Dolphins expired following the 2022 season. Robinson, 29, started 92 of 127 games in his career with the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and Steelers. He won two Super Bowls with the Patriots and was a captain in Miami.
Roberts is now wearing the green dot and the communication was overall pretty good for the defense, other than two times when they had to call timeout for having 12 men on the field. Mykal Walker also wore the green dot at times and started alongside Roberts, despite just joining the team a few weeks ago.
Roberts has certainly stepped up with the Steelers down several key players on the defensive side of the ball.
Alan Saunders provided reporting from Cleveland.