Steelers need Jason Worilds to step up
Steelers need Jason Worilds to make the most of his first full season as a starter in the NFL
By SteelCityRoller on Mar 11 201
For Worilds, 2013 will not only be his first year as a starting outside linebacker, but it will also be the first time he's had an entire off-season program to prepare.
Ever since the Pittsburgh Steelers parted ways with the legendary James Harrison, lofty expectations for 2013 have been aimed at fourth-year player, Jason Worilds. As Mark Kaboly pointed out on Twitter this morning, 2013 will be Worilds best chance for success, since it is the first time he has been able to participate in an entire off-season program.
Worilds was taken in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft; and like most defensive rookies in Pittsburgh, he would have little opportunity to break in during his first season, although he did see action in 14 of the team's 16 regular season games, finishing the year with two defensive tackles and two sacks. He saw most of his action on special teams, although he spent time filling in for an injured LaMarr Woodley. Worilds' two missed games came as a result of shoulder and knee injuries.
Everyone suffered from the lockout in 2011, which prevented all players from participating in off-season conditioning programs and organized team activities. The lack of the extra work was evident all season as injuries - especially hamstring and fitness issues - affected every single team in the league. Worilds actually started seven games for Pittsburgh in 2011, but he only appeared in 12 regular season games, as he dealt with a quad injury which forced him to miss four consecutive games.
In 2012, Worilds was forced to miss the entire pre-season program with a wrist injury, which had originally lost him the second spot on the ROLB depth chart to Chris Carter. Carter performed like a second-year player, and was eventually lost to injured reserve. Worilds finished out the 2012 season as the primary backup to both outside positions, and even finished second on the team in sacks behind Lawrence Timmons during a disappointing 2012 campaign. Worilds only started three contests this year, but he appeared in all 16 regular season games.
Whether the Steelers choose to seek Harrison's replacement in the draft or in free-agency, few have been able to step into prominent roles in Dick LeBeau's defense in their first years. It would take a Herculean effort to move the Titanic Worilds off of the top of the depth chart; or another Worilds-injury.
If Worilds is able to be productive in his first full season as a starter, he could entice the Steelers to offer him a new contract when his rookie deal expires following the 2013 season. However, should the team draft an eventual starter, Worilds could simply be a placeholder and mentor to the heir-apparent, regardless of how well he plays. He could become a cap casualty when he becomes an unrestricted free-agent.
Worilds, more than any other player on the roster, has plenty to prove in Pittsburgh. Even if they choose to part ways after the season, he will need to prove to the rest of the league he is more than just a special teams and part-time-defensive contributor, if he wants to remain in the NFL. The easiest way to do so, is to win the Steelers starting job outright, leaving little doubt about the team making the right move by releasing Harrison.
Winning covers a multitude of sins.
Hall of Famer
I believe in Worilds. I think he will rise to the opportunity.
Steelers need Jason Worilds to step up?
Yeah, but he's not alone. Jason didn't have the playing time unless an injury happened, lets see what he can do as a starter.
Hood, Heyward, and Woodley needs to step up!
Just in time for him to have a big season because they have no choice but to play him, and then he'll leave.
Just like Keenan Lewis.
He will not replace Harrison. Not sure anyone can replace Harrison. But Worilds will be serviceable OLB for us I think. Not sure what his ceiling is though? More of a Haggans,Gildon, or Porter? Also does Carter have a chance to move past Worilds? Will see once pre-season is here.
Hall of Famer
I'm so tired about hearing how people were losing out because the 2011 lockout. Everyone had the same this or that as the next guy in 2011. Other players, teams handled things and went to the playoffs, Super Bowl.
Worilds and a lot of players need to step it up and should have been stepping it up for a while now. It's either the coaches, the people that scout these guys that should be feeling the heat if guys like Worilds, Heyward, Hood can't make it on the field or make an impact. I remember hearing what a blessing it was getting Worilds and he could have been considered a number one selection. I heard great things about, Worilds, Carter along with Lima Sweed and the list goes on. Are they going to spend all this training time with these guys and when the finally do get their season in the sun and show some promise, will their contract be due and now they need to bid for a guy they drafted, invested in, groomed and for it all to go against the team ? Sound familiar ? That's what is happening with Lewis right now.
I'm sick of the Steelers not having guys to fill the spots when someone retires or is released. This current Steeler staff and front office is not getting the job done.
What upsets me the most, probably the time when they do get their ducks in a row, Ben won't be worth or capable of being the quarterback that could get his offense in the endzone.
Have to embrace Ben. Not handcuff him.
There is a novel concept. Certain people spend every opportunity to bash our franchise QB and talk about every other QB they would take over him.
Originally Posted by Siggy00
Hall of Famer
Times two with embracing Ben. This doesn't mean I was happy with Arians because I wasn't. I want Ben to be Ben but, not getting creamed while he's doing it. I'll never forget that Philly game where he got sacked 7 or 8 times. Nothing was done to help Ben, no play calls that would have favored Ben or the o-line, no extra blocking. Give our franchise QB the keys to the offense and some protection is all I want for Christmas.