Steeler Nation , the Pittsburgh Steelers are just about set to report to camp! Let’s take a look at one of the key positions of the Steelers 3-4 defense, the outside linebackers. Here is our breakdown of the Steelers outside linebackers.
State of the Outside linebacker position… The outside linebacker position is always a key component in the success of the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2013 the outside linebackers did not preform up to par. They only produced a total of 14 quarterback sacks as a unit for the season and that needs to improve dramatically.
LaMarr Woodley is now gone after a few injury plagued season.Jason Worilds led the team with 8 sacks after a slow start and being benched at the beginning of 2013. Rookie Jarvis Jones had more than a few growing pains his rookie season registering only one sack .
The Steelers have now added assistant linebacker coach and former player Joey Porter to the mix in hopes to help this group learn the fine art of rushing the passer and regaining some swagger. The Steelers have little proven depth behind Worilds and Jones but did add free agent Arthur Moats this off season.
The bottom line is that Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones must prove that they have what it takes to excel as full time starters in 2014. They will have every opportunity to do so and the Steelers defensive success depends largely upon it.
A look at the Outside Linebackers…
Jason Worilds: Worilds is heading into his 5th season as a Steeler and was transition tagged by the Steelers for this season. So far there has been no long term contract. Worilds has shown potential. He had an up and down season in 2013 but finished strong leading the team with 8 sacks. Worilds has had a history of injury problems through four seasons and must stay healthy. This is a make or break season for Worilds
Jarvis Jones: Jones is heading into his second season after an underwhelming rookie campaign with one total sack. Jones did show improvement in the latter part of the season especially against the run. He seemed to be over thinking things last season but a season of experience combined with the guidance of coach Joey Porter should help in that area.Jones needs to step up big in his second year and the Steelers are banking on it.
Arthur Moats: Moats 26, (6-2, 250) was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in round 6 of the 2010 NFL draft out of James Madison. He is capable of playing both the inside linebacker and outside linebacker positions in the Steelers 3-4 defensive scheme but the Steelers see him primarily as an outside guy. Moats started 12 games for the Bills in 2013 and registered 54 tackles.Arthur Moats had a total of 141 tackles , 5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in his four seasons with the Bills. He is considered a backup that adds quality depth and special teams play for the Steelers
Chris Carter: Carter was a 5th round pick for the Steelers in 2011 and is heading into his fourth season. He has four career starts including one in 2013 but has not yielded much production with only 16 career tackles. Carters time may be running thin. He needs to show he is more than just a special teams player through camp and the preseason.
Howard Jones:Jones(6-4 238) is an undrafted rookie free agent out of Division II school Shepherd were he was a defensive lineman.He ran a 4.6 40 , had a 40.5 inch vertical leap and a broad jump of 124 inches at the NFL combine. He ended his Shepherd career with 34.5 sacks and 71 tackles for a loss. He also forced 8 fumbles and had 4 blocked kicks.Jones is an interesting prospect that may be a project worth developing and may push Carter during camp.
Vic So’oto: So’oto 26, (6-3 260) signed with the Steelers in January 2014 ,has been on five different teams including the Steelers since first entering the league 2011. He went to Brigham Young University were he played both tight end and defensive line. He has a career total of 8 NFL tackles and one sack. He is along shot to make the team.
Jordan Zumwalt: Zumwalt (6-4 235) is a rookie taken in the 6th round out of UCLA. He has decent speed 4.76 in the 40 and is known as a player with a high motor. I listed Jordan Zumwalt in both inside and outside linebackers because he can play both and spent time at both during Mini camp. He may be a back up flex player for both positions but his key to making the team may be on special teams.
Feel free to leave a comment, thanks for reading and stay tuned to Steelers N Stuff for more news and updates . Like us on FaceBook and Share this post with Friends. Follow us on twitter @STEELERSNSTUFF and @NFLNSTUFF Go Steelers!
Other SNS Camp Breakdowns: