Share & Comment:

Patrick Queen embracing a leadership role with the Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to not take the wait-and-see approach at the inside linebacker position this offseason. Instead of hoping Cole Holecomb’s knee would be healthy enough for the 2024 season, the Steelers went out and landed themselves a big fish in free agency by way of Patrick Queen.

The former Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker comes to Pittsburgh with aspirations of winning championships, and he realizes he will be a large part of that equation. What he has also embraced throughout the process is a leadership role on the veteran defense. To lead, you have to know what you’re doing, and Queen took the three weeks of Phase III of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) to ensure he eliminated all mental errors from his game.

“I am pretty comfortable right now,” said Queen. “The last few days I didn’t have any mental errors. That is what I aim for. Just to be able to go home and feel good.”

Once you know the playbook, that is when you can start to truly step up and be the leader the team wants you to be when they paid you handsomely for your services. With the playbook being memorized, the next step is getting comfortable with the players around him.

“It’s getting to know my teammates now,” said Queen. “The more I get to know them, the more comfortable I get, the more we all talk and work through stuff. That is the biggest thing when you step on the football field, being able to have those guys back.

“Right now, it’s about learning how those guys play. What they do in season. How they get along with each other. Are guys ones you can joke with or are you serious with them. It’s like a relationship, trying to get to know them and the ins and outs.”

When it comes to getting acclimated to new surroundings, knowing the playbook and your teammates is one thing, but communicating on the field, when it matters most, is paramount. Queen sees the developing communication as a key reason why the defense is playing so fast at these early stages of the offseason process.

“It’s real strong. Everybody is comfortable, everybody is getting it down,” said Queen. “That is the biggest thing. That is why our defense is playing so fast right now because everybody is talking, everybody is communicating. Even when we don’t do the things right, we don’t have any egos, everybody goes to the situation, and we try to learn from it.

“There is a lot of communication. When you have the guys we have here, who communicate the way we do, fly to the ball, all the little details the coaches are giving us and put it on the field, you know you have a special group.”

When you consider just how dynamic the Steelers defense could be with these new pieces of the puzzle, it can be tantalizing. Nonetheless, the unit still has a long way to go, but it seems as though they are getting off on the right foot.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the offseason and training camp.


Sign up below for the latest news, stories and podcasts from our affiliates

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.