Hall of Famer
I saw JJ giving up on plays where he was man handled. It made me sick. I was a big supporter of his, but after the Ravens game I have many questions about him.
Starkey: Where there's a Worilds ...
By Joe Starkey
Published: Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013
Jason Worilds, who could be a free agent after the season, smiled when asked if he's making himself some money with his recent rampage.
“We've got some weeks before I can even think about money,” Worilds said.
That was before the Ravens game, before Worilds went on another rampage. He's making himself some money, all right, a fact that has amateur capoligists everywhere scurrying to their spreadsheets.
They're claiming there's no way the Steelers can keep Worilds because of dead-money hits and restructured contracts and enough mathematical equations to make your head spin.
If that is true — if the Steelers have backed themselves into a financial corner so tight that it would prohibit them from keeping a burgeoning, 25-year-old playmaker — then shame on them. That would be two years in a row they'd lose a talented defender before his second contract. Not exactly the way to rebuild a dying defense.
I have to believe that where there's a Worilds, there's a way.
(Cue the panicked capologist): Oh, but they couldn't absorb LaMarr Woodley's dead money (around $14 million over the remainder of his deal) if they traded him or cut him. He's worth more dead than alive! They couldn't cut Ike Taylor (he just restructured!). Don't even think about cutting Troy Polamalu. Worilds matured too late. Don't blame the Steelers. There's nothing they can do!
Excuse me: Are we talking about a perennial Super Bowl contender here or a team that is about to finish a third straight season without a playoff win for the first time since 1998-2000?
Get creative. Eat dead money. Use the franchise tag. Cut fan favorites. Do whatever you have to do to get younger and, eventually, better on defense.
I regularly defended pushing money into the future in order to maintain a consistent 12-win team. I cannot defend the practice for a franchise that hasn't won a big game since 2010. The cycle has to stop somewhere.
This offseason would be an excellent time.
If that means eating 10 tons of dead money, break out the forks. If it means parting with more beloved vets, break out the tissues.
The offense should return with enough young talent to carry this team for once. The defense needs a financial rebuild.
The Steelers must learn from the Keenan Lewis debacle. After last season — after he said the Steelers declined to make him an offer — Lewis signed a modest five-year, $22 million contract with the Saints. He has become a shutdown star.
Woodley, meanwhile, turns 30 next season, and that often is the expiration date for Steelers outside linebackers. Jason Gildon and Greg Lloyd fell apart at 30. The Steelers jettisoned a declining Joey Porter at 30, and even though he rebounded with one more fabulous season in Miami, it was the right move.
James Harrison was an exception, but, like Worilds, he didn't have much tread on his tires from his early years.
Or maybe the Steelers can keep Woodley for one more season then trade him or cut him when it's more financially feasible. Maybe they can slap Worilds with an approximate $10 million franchise tag.
That might seem insane, but let me ask you: Is it more insane than having Ike Taylor tied to an $11 million cap hit?
Is it more insane than making no attempt to retain Keenan Lewis?
In the meantime, Worilds obviously should keep the left-side linebacker position even if Woodley Pipp returns from a calf injury. Woodley can move to the right. Jarvis Jones can go practice his pass-rush moves on the sidelines. Maybe he'll sack Bruce Gradkowski. He rarely gets near opposing quarterbacks.
Worilds says he feels much more comfortable on the left side, where he played defensive end at Virginia Tech (and where he also sees lesser tackles).
“It's completely different,” Worilds said. “I don't even know what to compare it to ... maybe driving in America to driving overseas.”
True, this is a small sampling of games. I want to see how the season plays out. Is this the real Worilds? Or is the injury-prone underachiever the real one?
That would be the risk. It's unfortunate for the Steelers, in a way, that Worilds appears to be approaching his potential so late.
It would be far more unfortunate if he realized it somewhere else.
I love the Wally Pipp reference, but I hate how the writer has to embellish to make his point. Keenan Lewis (a young player) was a loss, but calling him "shut down" is ridiculous. He is/was a good player, nothing less or more. Worilds would fit in that same category (i.e. not a star, but certainly a youthful asset).
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
where he is at today, and where he needs to be might actually take more than one NFL offseason... aka J Harrison's early career.
Originally Posted by Shawn
As a rookie? Just like Polamalu, Timmons, Heyward, Ike, Harrison, and Allen were less than effective as rookies? It never ceases to amaze me at how many people judge a rookie harshly...basically calling them a bust in their first season. It's rare for a rookie to get PT in a LeBeau system and almost unheard of for them to be effective. I can think of one...and that was Bell who made an serious impact as a rookie.
Originally Posted by flippy
Pittsburgh Steelers Must Find a Way to Re-Sign Jason Worilds
Just a few weeks ago, it looked like the Pittsburgh Steelers couldn’t afford to keep Jason Worilds in 2014.
The 25-year-old Worilds becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. In his first three seasons, the outside linebacker had just 10 sacks. Considering their salary-cap constraints, it seemed like a no-brainer for the Steelers to let him go.
Now, if he keeps playing the way he has, the Steelers can’t afford not to keep Worilds.
Worilds is coming off a career-high 10 tackles and the fourth two-sack game of his career in Thursday’s 22-20 loss at Baltimore. The Steelers couldn’t have asked for anything more from Worilds in that game.
Michael Oher of “Blind Side” fame looked helpless most of the night trying to block Worilds.
Perhaps there should be a “Blind Side” sequel, because Oher no longer plays on the blind side. He’s the Ravens’ right tackle, and Worilds took him on because he’s also moved to the other side of the field.
Worilds replaced an injured LaMarr Woodley three weeks ago at left outside linebacker, and it’s had a light-switch effect on the Steelers’ 2010 second-round draft pick. He leads the Steelers with six sacks this season. If he gets one more sack, he’ll have more than any Steeler last season.
Five of Worilds’ sacks have come in the last five games. He didn’t have any sacks in the Steelers’ 27-11 win at Cleveland, but according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he hit Browns quarterbacks seven times.
The expectation for 2013 was that Worilds would have another nondescript season, the Steelers would let him walk as a free agent, and Woodley and Jarvis Jones would be the outside-linebacker tandem of the future.
However, Worilds’ recent performance and Woodley’s third injury absence in three seasons have twisted the plot.
Woodley had five sacks in the first six games this season, but went three games without a sack and has sat out the last three games with a calf injury. He missed three games last season and six games in 2011 with ankle and hamstring injuries.
Before worrying about re-signing Worilds, the Steelers have four remaining regular-season games they must win to have any hope of making the playoffs.
Of more immediate concern is what to do with Woodley when he returns. The Steelers would be foolish to move Worilds from the side of the field where he has played his best football. At right outside linebacker, Jones has started the last three games but hasn’t done enough to win the job permanently. Woodley can replace him. He told ESPN he would have no problem moving to the right side.
Imagine what Worilds could do with all the blocking attention a healthy Woodley would demand. If Worilds keeps chasing quarterbacks the way he has for the last three weeks, the Steelers have to find a way to keep him.
Worilds seems to be following the same career path as cornerback Keenan Lewis.
Like Worilds, Lewis developed slowly in his first three seasons and made a big leap in his contract year. The Steelers let him go to the Saints as a free agent because they figured Cortez Allen was ready to replace Lewis as a starter. What they didn’t figure was that Ike Taylor would begin showing his age. Pro Football Focus gives him the worst overall grade of the 39 cornerbacks who have played at least 75 percent of their team’s snaps through 12 games.
The Steelers also brought back William Gay during the offseason, and his emergence has been a pleasant surprise.
Still, Lewis has three interceptions this season. That’s more than any Steeler.
Now the Steelers have another late bloomer in Worilds. They can’t let him get away.
If Worilds is in another uniform next year, their starting outside linebackers would be a soon-to-be-30-year-old who hasn’t played a full season since 2010 and an unproven Jones.
So how can the Steelers keep Worilds under the salary cap? Ben Roethlisberger, Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, Troy Polamalu and Taylor occupy more than half of the Steelers’ projected cap space in 2014, according to Spotrac.
Well, Woodley still should be a Steeler next season, but not for his $8 million base salary. He has nine sacks over the past 25 months. If he can’t stay on the field, and beat more blockers when he is on the field, the Steelers should think about cutting his pay.
Taylor, 33, doesn’t look like he’ll be worth the $7 million he’s scheduled to make next season. The Steelers could work some cap room there, too.
If Woodley and Taylor ever want to be in the playoffs again, they should work with the Steelers and help them re-sign Worilds, who right now is better than both of them.
What's he done to make you think he'll be any good at this point? I'm not expecting anyone to be great in their first year, but I would expect to see some flashes of talent as a pass rusher and I'm really not seeing anything yet?
Originally Posted by Shawn
What did those players do? The point is its much too early to know either way.
Originally Posted by flippy
Flippy, at one time, you thought Adrian Robinson was a great pass rusher...
Originally Posted by flippy
That crushing hit on CJ and his ST's is enough for me... I don't execpt much from rookieson D and anything they do is a bonus. Happy to see him getting reps and think this offseason will help him tremendously. When he reacts without thinking about his assignments you will see an improvement.
Originally Posted by flippy
Hell, its Worlids 4th year and people are going gaga over him... would be nice to give JJ a little time.