Frustrating. The Universal Constant in Pittsburgh is the position of Linebacker, but last season was one of disappointment as the unit failed to produce the Steeler Standard. The constant truth will be in the Steelers looking to their Linebackers to make it right, with might. There’s work to be done here, both on the field and in this post, so let’s get on with it and get back to living up to our linebacker lore.
PICK A POSITION: LINEBACKER
Do we really have to go into a breakdown of the breakdown at this position last year? I mean, LaMarr Woodley was practically a no-show; either he was off the field nursing a hamstring injury, or he was on the field nursing a hamstring injury, tallying up no Sacks in either place. James Harrison improperly rehabbed a knee injury, missing the initial chunk of the schedule. Sean Spence was lost, likely forever, to a horrific ligament and nerve damage injury to the knee. On the uptick, Lawrence Timmons is really coming into his own as an elite-caliber inside-backer and Larry Foote played better than his age.
In 2013, the Steelers Linebackers must regain status as league bully, so where does Pittsburgh stand in this position heading into the upcoming NFL Draft?
LIVING UP TO THE LORE
You have a lot to live up to when you play this position in Pittsburgh. It can be tough, I would imagine. And linebackers are supposedly tough dudes. They probably don’t like to talk a lot, mince words about things, just all matter of fact and let’s get to the point. So let’s do exactly that:
- Lawrence Timmons: great year from LT in 2012, but we need you take another step in elevating your overall play. Timmons can be a real Star in this League.
- Larry Foote: Larry did a solid job in replacing a long-time field general in Farrior; ultimately, we know we’ve got to get younger and more physical here, but for now Foote has to make plays.
- LaMarr Woodley: “wherefore art thou, Woodley?” “Big Sack” needs to return as the Devastator that we know him to be. Play as big as your contract, please.
- Jason Worilds: Jason doesn’t just have a tough job, he might have an impossible one: replacing former Defensive Player of the Year James “Debo” Harrison. Call me crazy (or, just wait until my Final Mock Draft Post), but I think Worilds is ready. In limited action, he seems to generate a high number of Sacks-per-Down, which is exactly what he will have to do a lot of if he wants to keep what should be his Starting positions to lose at Outside Linebacker.
- Depth Chart: Stevenson Sylvester, Chris Carter, Brian Rolle, Kion Wilson, Adrian Robinson and Marshall McFadden serve as backups; keep serving Rolle up in your mental Rolodex, as I expect him to supplant Sly and Carter by taking their playing time.
DRAFTING IT UP
So, how do the Steelers make themselves feel better about the position of Linebacker? How about making one their #1 Pick in 2013?!
- (OLB) Jarvis Jones – Georgia: Jarvis lead the nation in sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles last year so accolades here are easy, and voluminous. What you can’t say about Jarvis, though, you can certainly watch on tape; he’s an absolute machine at the Linebacker position and fits incredibly well into the mold melded in Steel in Pittsburgh for so many decades. After not getting Dont’a Hightower coming in last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers bring in a monster in 2013, and get back to ransacking Quarterbacks.
“With their 2nd Round Selection in the 1974 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers Select:”
Middle Linebacker – Jack Lambert, Kent State
Where “living up to the lore” all gets started, along with Jack Ham as they formed one of the greatest Linebacker tandems in NFL History.
DO ME A SOLID
Draft Jarvis Jones. Woodley, stop eating snacks and start munching on Quarterbacks. Worilds, it’s your World. Timmons, play as 1st Team Pro Bowler. To every Linebacker on the roster? LIVE UP TO THE LORE!
WHAT’S YOUR POSITION?
With the injection of Jarvis Jones and a return to form for LaMarr Woodley, Pittsburgh gets back to playing Steeler football with Linebackers intent on lighting you up.