There has been a lot talk and concern over the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacking corps this offseason. Will we keep Jason Worilds? Will Lamarr Woodler be cut? Will Jarvis Jones be able to take the next step in developing into the next great pass rusher for the Steelers? Can Vince Williams play all 3 downs? Here is the best case scenario for the linebacking corps going into free agency and the start of the new football year.
The Steelers surprised me last April when they selected Jarvis Jones in the first round. I really believed they would stick with Jason Worilds for the future. Well look where that got them, into a huge mess where Lamarr Woodley could get cut! Bet no one would have wanted that a year ago. But they are now, including me. Woodley needs to be cut. He had 3 seasons to get healthy and hasn’t done so. His production hasn’t been what it was and it’s looking like Jason Worilds can bring more to the table being younger and less money. Of course this is also saying that Worilds needs to be retained. There have recently been rumors that will not happen, and Woodley will be retained. But what are rumors? Last season someone said that Ben Roethlisberger wanted out. That sure got shot down quickly by both the Steelers and Roethlisberger himself. If you didn’t watch the first Browns-Steelers game of the season and want to know what Worilds brings to the table, watch it, and then try to argue with me otherwise. Worilds is looking like a beast. Now to the other outside linebacker, Jarvis Jones will start full time next year, it’s just a matter of opposite who. Much like the team bringing Munchak to not only get the offensive line going but also to help DeCastro, bringing in Joey Porter was an excellent move to boost the play of Jones. I think this kid has an incredibly high ceiling and no matter what his rookie season was like, he has beast mode written all over him. Give him a little time, but he should play much better this season.
I think the only question regarding Lawrence Timmons is when will he make his first pro bowl? He has been robbed time and time again, and is extremely underrated in this league. Opposite to Timmons, we aren’t so sure yet. Im not sold on any of the young inside linebackers yet. I would love to see Vince Williams develop into a 3 down linebacker. I don’t think he can dominate, but am excited to see how high his ceiling is and how good of a player he can be. Sean Spence has a long way to go, even if his knee is completely heeled. Realistically, he is coming into training camp a rookie, not having played in Dick Lebeau’s system yet. He will not be in football shape, considering he hasn’t played in over a year and a half. I don’t know how much he can bring to the table. Kion Wilson seems like a rotational player to me and will never be a starter in the league. He had the job given to him at the beginning of the year, then had it taken away by Vince Williams. I don’t think he has much of a shot at winning the starting job going into camp. As far as Larry Foote goes, he should be cut. He is too old and the Steelers have too many other young options at the inside linebacker spot. The Steelers can also save some money by releasing him.
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