Steelers Defensive Youth Steps Up

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Rookie MinicampSteeler Nation , The Steelers played their first pre-season game Saturday night. Now remember its just the first pre-season game and not much can or should be taken from it.  However, it’s very encouraging that so many young players on defense showed some promise.

Defensive end Al Woods was a disruptive force racking up 9 tackles ,2 for a loss, 1 sack, and a  QB pressure. Woods has seen time at nose tackle with the lack depth but saw a lot of play at his main position defensive end and did not disappoint.

Speaking of nose tackle depth NT  Alameda Ta’amu made a couple of nice plays and may finally  be showing something more than potential.

First round pick OLB Jarvis Jones showed flashes of why the Steelers chose him in this years draft. He had a fumble recovery and two tackles . Jones will only get better with time. He shows good football skills and instincts but still has the rawness of a rookie.

All camp we have wondered about the Steelers linebacker depth and who would step up .

It looks like Marshall McFadden is making a real push in this area at inside linebacker.McFadden has been impressive at camp and continued in the first game of the pre-season . McFadden had 5 tackles and a special teams tackle. McFadden looks like a real player.

Sixth round rookie inside linebacker Vince Williams is looking like a real steal . He has moved up the depth chart so far at camp and continued to show why in game action. Williams had 3 tackles,one for a loss , a quarterback pressure ,and a sack. Williams is a hard hitter who continues to show good football smarts and instincts .

Inside linebacker Brian Rolle also had a good showing . Rolle  had four tackles,  a sack, two quarterback pressures, and a pass defense.

If the emergence of McFadden ,Willaims, and Rolle continues the worries about inside linbacker depth may be eased.

The two young safeties Robert Golden and rookie Shamarko Thomas both had solid games in limited playing time and that bodes well for the Steelers safety depth.

Its early in the process but so far the Steelers are beginning to find out what players are ready to step up and seize the moment on defense .  The more the merrier.

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