One of the preseason darlings from the 2019 season is back in the fold for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The team signed outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper Thursday, reuniting the 26-year-old with the team that gave him his first opportunity in the NFL three years ago.
“It came so sudden,” he said. “Yesterday morning, I was on the plane by 7:30 a.m.”
Skipper has spent time with the Giants, Titans (twice), Falcons and is now in his third stint in Pittsburgh, having been signed later in the 2019 season by the Steelers after being released in September.
With New York, he played in six regular season games and had three tackles, including a half of a sack in 2019. Two years ago, he saw time in four games and started two with Tennessee. He had five tackles but did not record a sack.
“I got to work on my weaknesses while I was gone,” Skipper said. “I got to sharpen those up and now I’m ready to ball.”
The 6-foot-3, 246-pound Toledo product shined for the Steelers during the 2019 preseason. In four games, he recorded 18 tackles, five sacks and hit the quarterback seven times.
It was that success that made him a fan of the culture in Pittsburgh.
“The guys, the locker room, they were all welcoming and were praying for individual success,” he said. “When you make plays in the preseason, I love when the (established players) come out and are cheering you on, especially when you’re one of the guys on the borderline.”
The production in the 2019 preseason led many to believe that Skipper would earn a spot on the 53-man roster in Pittsburgh. But he was released before Week One and was signed by the Giants.
Now, with a third shot at sticking on the Steelers’ roster and battling for a spot in a group of outside linebackers that could benefit from some added depth behind TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith, he isn’t resting on the strong prior showings in black and gold.
“What have I done lately,” he asked. “That’s what I go on. I want to ball and leave that in the past. And make new history.”