When Pittsburgh Steelers’ middle linebacker Devin Bush went down with a torn ACL versus the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 18, Steelers Nation was left wondering how the team would fill the void Bush left open.
Enter Robert Spillane.
The Oak Park native and former Friar has made his mark in his first couple weeks filling in for Bush and had the best game of his career on Nov. 1. He had social media buzzing after intercepting reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and running it back for a 33-yard touchdown against the Ravens last Sunday. He also racked up a team-high 11 total tackles versus Baltimore.
Spillane’s recent performance adds to a highlight reel that already included an impressive goal-line stop on Oct. 25 versus the Tennessee Titans. Derrick Henry, a 6-foot, 3-inch, 250 lb. running back who led the NFL in rushing last season, took a handoff on the two-yard line and was met by Spillane before he could cross the goal line.
Spillane received a shout out on Twitter from ex-Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch who said, “Robert Spillane, I SALUTE you. If people didn’t know who you were before this play, they will after this. I promise you, you will see this play ALL WEEK!”
He also appeared as the main headline on ESPN’s website after the Jackson interception, discussed at length by NBC Sports’ Peter King in his weekly piece “Peter King’s Football Morning In America,” was included in The Ringer.com’s weekly winners and losers article as a “winner.”
Spillane is also known for being the grandson of former Heisman trophy winner Johnny Lattner, who also played for the Steelers.