The Pittsburgh Steelers were left in a sticky situation after Larry Foote was lost for the year on opening day.
With their veteran inside linebacker sidelined for the rest of the year, Kion Wilson and rookie Vince Williams were forced to pick up the slack at the “buck” spot in Pittsburgh’s defense.
Although Wilson has started the Steelers’ last two regular season games, the aggressive former Florida State Seminole appears primed to start for the Steelers on Sunday in London according to Jim Wexell of SteelCityInsider.net and Steelers Digest:
Vince Williams said he doesn't think playing every rep today at first-team ILB is an indication he will start Sunday. But I do.
— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) September 25, 2013
Wexell’s tweet is extremely interesting to say the least. As most of you already know, Pittsburgh’s defenses under Dick LeBeau have been extremely “veteran-heavy” units over the last decade. Unfortunately, large amounts of personnel changes and injuries have forced Jarvis Jones, Shamarko Thomas, and even Williams into the lineup for extended periods of time during Pittsburgh’s first three games.
Williams has registered 11 tackles through three games, and definitely looks more suited to stop the run than Wilson. While Williams would likely be riding the pine behind Foote during his rookie campaign, it is still promising to see the rookie stepping up and taking first-team reps over Wilson with the veteran sidelined.
I will also add that the extra reps during regular season play should definitely serve to help the youngster adjust to the speed of the game and develop areas of his skill-set like defending the pass.
So with Wexell’s recent report in mind, I am extremely intrigued to see how the former sixth round pick can improve with an increased role during the next 13 games.
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