PITTSBURGH -- Running untouched past the Seattle Seahawks offensive line, bearing down on an unsuspecting Drew Lock, linebacker Mark Robinson wasn't thinking about jarring the ball loose. He was just trying to make a tackle, but instead leveled a game-changing hit, one that gave the Pittsburgh Steelers a second chance at taking home a win in their preseason opener.
"I was just trying to focus on getting the ball carrier," Robinson said after the game. "I was swiping at it and I knew that if it came out, we'd get on it and make a play."
Robinson's sack and forced fumble came with 1:15 left in a game knotted at 25, right after the Steelers had turned the ball over on downs inside their own territory. Kenny Pickett and company made good on the mulligan, scoring a game-winning touchdown with seconds remaining on the fourth quarter clock.
A crowd already animated by the debut of the team's 2021 first-round pick, Pickett, was incited further by their seventh-round pick, Robinson, and his brutal sack. He noticed the energy was unusually high for the final frame of a preseason game.
"It was a great feeling," Robinson said. "We're at home, it put my team back on top and helped us get a win so that's all that matters."
Robinson, a convert from running back, called himself "a linebacker at heart" and proved it on that play. He was mobbed by the hosts of veterans on the sidelines afterward.
"They loved it," Robinson said. "Those are my guys so anytime I get a chance to go out there and do good I know they'll have my back 1,000%. That's the kind of team we have."
The turning point he created was a special moment, one Robinson credits his coaches and teammates for helping create. He took stock of that fact after the game, as he prepares to face training camp's first round of cuts.
"I came in here trying to learn as much as I can as quick as I can," Robinson said. "The vets and coach Flores, they do a great job, so I'm just blessed to be here."
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