Its a new NFL... the old model of waiting 2 to 3 years to plug a guy in isnt going to work with these rookie contracts.
A few quotes from players and coaches...
Worlids: "It's frustrating because you know you probably could have helped. When I was coming up, I was told that no matter what I did -- good or bad, no matter how much I improved -- I wasn't going to see the field. That's kind of discouraging. But you have to take it as an opportunity to better yourself in other ways. That's what I was able to do."
"It's a complicated system, especially coming in and trying to understand coverage, but the more reps you get the more you tend to pick up," said Worilds, who said he will not discuss his upcoming free agency until the season is over. "The hardest part about it is you don't get the opportunities to better yourself. You're not going to get the reps on game days as a rookie to better yourself. If you play a certain number of reps you expect to get better."
Heyward:My defensive line draft class, everyone was playing," Heyward said. "All those guys played a lot of plays. You just wait your time. I knew I had to make the most of my opportunity. Even though I was one of the last ones drafted in the first round, I still took it as a big hit that there were 11 defensive linemen drafted before me. So I have something to prove."
Lake and Jones:Lake said when he was an assistant coach at UCLA before being hired by the Steelers the Bruins used only two coverages -- cover 4 and man-to-man. He declined to specify exactly how many coverages the Steelers have in their arsenal, but he said there are several zone coverages, several man-to-man coverages and several coverages with a mixture of zone and man-to-man.
"You come here and you have a little more on your plate," Lake said. "Not only do you have more coverage but you have a new technique to go along with these coverages. So you're learning not only technique and assignment but scheme on top of it."
So if the Steelers do draft another defensive player high in the draft in the spring to address some of their glaring needs don't expect an immediate impact.
Take it from Jones.
"That's the thing that most people don't get looking from the outside," Jones said. "Guys really have to become students of the game to be one of those playmakers. You have to know what's going on. I'm in that phase of learning and trying to become a student of the game."