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How he fits: Patrick Queen

The Steelers added a quarterback on the offensive side of the ball with their signing of Russell Wilson. They added one on the defensive side of things with the addition of linebacker Patrick Queen.

A former first-round pick of the Ravens, Queen didn't miss a game in four seasons in Baltimore, something that can't be discounted for the Steelers, who had numerous injuries at inside linebacker in 2023.

Perhaps the best ability is availability.

But Queen (6-0, 230 lbs.) brings more to the table than just that.

A second-team All-Pro in 2023, Queen is coming off a season that saw him record a career-high 133 tackles with 18 quarterback pressures, 3.5 sacks, six pass defenses, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He also had nine tackles for a loss and six quarterback hits.

"It's basically us going out there playing fast, physical, confident, everybody on the same page," Queen said of the Steelers' defense. "When you got a defense on that kind of page there, tend to let the bullets fly the whole game for 60 minutes, that is lethal to the offense. That's what I can't wait to be a part of."

Over the past two seasons, Queen recorded 8.5 sacks and 48 quarterback pressures, both of which rank second in the league among inside linebackers over that span.

Steelers signed LB Patrick Queen on a three-year contract

The former LSU star is the kind of every-down linebacker the Steelers have sought since losing Ryan Shazier to a career-ending injury in 2017.

"I remember him. Super fast, will come down and hit some," Queen said of Shazier. "So I definitely do remember him. You know, I remember watching live when that stuff happened. It sucked. I'm glad he's better now. My job is to come fill those shoes."

The Steelers opened the 2023 season with Cole Holcomb, Kwan Alexander and Elandon Roberts in a rotation at inside linebacker. But Holcomb and Alexander both suffered season-ending injuries within a week of each other at midseason, forcing the team to piecemeal things together the rest of the season.

Queen has played more than 1,000 snaps in each of the past two seasons, including a career-high 1,121 in 2023. He rarely leaves the field, nor does he need to do so.

He'll join a defense that includes established stars in defensive tackle Cam Heyward, outside linebacker T.J. Watt and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

"Those guys are established. They're greats," Queen said. "Just for me coming here, being that extra piece, coming in and playing my game and do what I do and trying to help them to help us win.

"Whatever I need to do to help those guys line up, whatever it is, be aware of a situation, call, play, whatever it is, that's my job to come in here and help those guys."

Queen has developed in coverage over his four seasons in the NFL. In 2023, though he allowed a completion percentage of 77.6 percent on passes thrown in his area, they went for a career-low 5.8 yards per catch, with those accounting for just 102 air yards, meaning he was largely tackling running backs out of the backfield.

Queen also brings some flexibility to the defense. While he's an off-ball linebacker, last season the Ravens deployed him on 103 snaps in the slot as well as 94 snaps on the defensive line.

He brings thats kind of do-it-all ability to the Steelers defense.

Still just 24, Queen doesn't turn 25 until August and is still developing as a professional, with his best years likely ahead of him.

His production really took off in Baltimore the past two seasons after the Ravens acquired fellow inside linebacker Roquan Smith. But Queen could be ready to be a star in his own right.

"I think that whole situation definitely helped, like definitely learned a lot from him," Queen said. "At the same time, I got to go on the field and perform and I got to play, tackle, do these things, catch the ball.

"So when it comes to he made me, I think I was already on my path that I'm on right now. Just took a little time and I started hitting that stride beginning of the third year. Once he got here, helped even more. Now is my time to go out there and lead and bring somebody else up."