PITTSBURGH – When Trent Baalke, general manager of Jacksonville Jaguars, told Joe Schobert to speak to him after the team’s final team briefing on Thursday, the veteran inside linebacker knew something was wrong.
But Schobert hardly expected what Baalke would tell him next.
The Jaguars traded Schobert, a zippy free agent who was signed only last year, to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a sixth round election.
“I think it came out of the blue, from my point of view,” said Schobert on Sunday in his first interview since trading. “Nothing really, no warning signs or pretend stuff. I spoke to defensive coaches right after talking to the general manager and they were pretty shocked about it.
“… It’s stressful, especially in the middle of training camp. I have a wife, a kid, a dog. House down in Jacksonville; I have to figure out the logistics of the move. I wouldn’t say I was sad, no – – stressful. A bit of a shock to the system. “
Baalke told 27-year-old Schobert that the Steelers had called 12 hours earlier and were “insistent” on getting the Pro Bowl Inside linebacker.
“‘I wouldn’t stick you in if it wasn’t a good situation for you and your family to come to Pittsburgh, good team,'” Schobert told him. “I was told that.”
Mike Tomlin presented a slightly different version of the deal when he talked about it on Saturday.
“It introduced itself to us, but we didn’t think about it for long because we are very familiar with its skills and productivity,” said Tomlin of the job.
“We are happy to have him. Productivity when I think of Joe. He doesn’t need any support from me. We know him. Former AFC North man, has been very productive in every situation he has been in. He’s been very productive.”
“He’s a sideline-to-sideline tackler, he’s good at reporting, he’s got reporting on trapping, he’s got sack production. He plays a well-rounded game and we look forward to including him in our work. “
Schobert, who spent four years in Cleveland and had seven forced fumbles and six interceptions, had first-team reps with former Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson, who was acquired in April, as the middle linebacker in the new defensive coordinator Joe Cullens divided 3 -4 defense.
Schobert took part in team meetings on Saturday and was there for the first time with the Steelers for training camp training at Heinz Field on Sunday. He was immediately placed on the first team and often took on reps at the side of Devin Bush during team time. Schobert was used at Dimeback and also said he expected to play the Mac backer. He said he was slated to wear the green dot helmet as a defensive signal caller at the start of the regular season.
“This will be my sixth plan in six years of learning,” said Schobert, who added that the Steelers’ plan is most similar to the one he had during his rookie year in Cleveland. “I’ve done a lot of similar things. The biggest difference is the jargon, the language of defense, just being on an equal footing with everyone else and communicating with them in the field.”
While Schobert and Bush played together in the first team, Robert Spillane and Buddy Johnson took over the representatives of the second team.
Schobert hopes to feel comfortable enough in defense to play the Steelers’ third preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Saturday.
“I don’t know how many reps I’m going to do before it feels great before I’m 100 percent comfortable making all the calls and communicating with everyone on the defense,” he said. “But I think it’s going to be a pretty fluid, pretty easy process, especially with all of the veterans.”