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Galax Steeler
03-19-2013, 03:53 AM
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PHOENIX -- When he took over as head coach in 2007, Mike Tomlin inherited an immediate crisis in his defense: How to replace Joey Porter, one of the team's all-time sack leaders and inspirational players.

Porter, the right outside linebacker, had just turned 30 and was coming off a season in which he had seven sacks and two interceptions, one for a touchdown, in 14 games. But, because of a nagging knee injury, he was not the same player that the Steelers saw during their 2005 run to the Super Bowl.

Rather than pay him the $6 million he was scheduled to make in 2007, the Steelers released him

But, as Tomlin soon discovered, Porter's loss was the Steelers' gain.

"There was a guy that came in my office that was ready to prove that he was capable of [playing] 900 to 1,000 snaps a year," Tomlin said. "His name was James Harrison. I think if we all knew what James Harrison was capable of, he would have played more than he did before 2007."

Nobody is expecting Jason Worilds to be James Harrison. But, ready or not, he is the heir apparent at right outside linebacker to Harrison, a five-time Pro Bowl selection who was released two weeks with two years remaining on his contract.

Worilds was a No. 2 draft choice in 2009 who has started 10 games and has 10 sacks in three seasons. But Harrison's stats were even more nondescript when he replaced Porter as the starter at right outside linebacker -- eight starts and four sacks in three seasons.

"I believe that Jason Worilds is chomping at the bit to prove he is capable of being that," Tomlin said during a break at the NFL owners meetings that began Monday at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. "We will see what Worilds is capable of doing."

Then he added with a laugh, "No pressure."

Tomlin's point, though, is well-founded: You never know what can happen when a player gets to emerge from a considerable shadow. And Harrison certainly cast that in his six years as a dominating presence in the Steelers defense.

"But that's what this is," Tomlin said. "That's what change does. It provides opportunities for guys to ascend and take advantage of opportunities, and to carve out a niche or a name for themselves. I think that these competitors are challenged by that or encouraged by those opportunities that change presents."

"You never know," team president Art Rooney II said on Monday, standing on the lawn outside the meeting area. "Over the years, we certainly have had players that, when they were given their opportunity, like James did, they stepped forward and really did a great job. Jason has certainly shown flashes of being a great pass rusher. So he'll certainly have an opportunity to show what he can do this year."

Harrison was coming off a season in which he missed all offseason training activities and the entire training camp because of a nagging knee injury that eventually required surgery. After sitting out the first two games of the regular season, he looked like a shadow of his old self when he returned -- failing to generate any pressure on the quarterback and struggling to cover tight ends and running backs in pass situations because of his knee.

Harrison improved as the season went along and finished tied for the team lead with six sacks in 14 games. But Harrison will be 35 in May -- five years older than Porter when he was released by the Steelers in 2006 -- and was scheduled to make $6.56 million in 2013. When he refused to take a pay cut, the Steelers released him.

"James is a special guy and was a special player for us," Tomlin said. "It is a part of the business. We may never replace James but we will have an opportunity to strengthen ourselves in other areas. I think that's what you look at sometimes when you look at some of the things that have happened from a change standpoint.

"No, we won't be able to replace James. No, we won't be able to replace Mike Wallace. Those guys are who they are. But those voids will provide opportunities for us to strengthen ourselves in those areas and in others, and collectively maybe even make us stronger. I think that's an approach I always take to change. That's why I view it somewhat optimistically."



NOTE -- The NFL settled a lawsuit with 16 retired players who challenged the improper use of their images in NFL films and other footage. The league will contribute $42 million over an eight-year period to a newly established fund that will be administered by a group of retired players. "We've got more litigation going on than we would like and to get one piece of this out of the way is a big thing," Rooney said. "To have a group of retired players come in and express their appreciation and their interest in working together, that's an important piece of the puzzle of what we're going to get done going forward."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/worilds-next-in-steelers-linebacker-succession-679908/#ixzz2NyRKtZHG

pczach
03-19-2013, 05:08 AM
It's time to let the world see what he's got. He may surprise many with his play. If he can play well, he will fill a giant void in the roster, and would make a successful season much more attainable.

wwhickok
03-19-2013, 05:17 AM
I dont for a second believe Worilds will succeed at ROLB. He hasn't proven he can either as he has not ever played well from that position. He has played well at LOLB but unless they are moving Woodley over to accomodate, which I highly doubt, Worilds is the starting ROLB. Regardless of LeBeau being the Coordinator, I think it is possible a rookie (if drafted in the first two rounds) takes over for Worilds as the starter not llong into the season.

WokeUpWithaWoodley
03-19-2013, 05:40 AM
I dont for a second believe Worilds will succeed at ROLB. He hasn't proven he can either as he has not ever played well from that position. He has played well at LOLB but unless they are moving Woodley over to accomodate, which I highly doubt, Worilds is the starting ROLB. Regardless of LeBeau being the Coordinator, I think it is possible a rookie (if drafted in the first two rounds) takes over for Worilds as the starter not llong into the season.

Porter and harrison didnt show any ablility before they were thrust in the starting role, and they turned out ok. He hasnt played enough snaps for us to judge what he can and cant do. We need to see a bigger body of work from hIm before we judge.

Its almost a double edge sword when it comes to worlids because we all hope he does very good but if he does he will want to be paid cause its a contract year for him.

wwhickok
03-19-2013, 05:45 AM
To a degree you're right, but what we have seen of him at the ROLB position hasnt looked promising. If he doesnt shine he probably won't even get a new contract.

steelfury02
03-19-2013, 06:30 AM
I appreciate the article stating James Harrison had even less stats than Worilds right before he came onto the scene

There isn't much to go on - going with an unproven is an uneasy situation, but - I'm just hoping that constant game-speed repetition is all this guy needs

Steel_Bus_24
03-19-2013, 06:30 AM
I have my doubts about his potential......plus the dude can never stay healthy

He has a lot to prove

teegre
03-19-2013, 07:42 AM
Porter and harrison didnt show any ablility before they were thrust in the starting role, and they turned out ok.

I disagree. In Porter's rookie pre-season, he was tearing it up. He didn't end up starting, but everyone knew that he would very soon. Likewise, whenever Harrison filled in for any of the four LBs (he backed up all four positions), everyone could feel his presence. Most of us were begging for him to start over Haggans (can you imagine Porter & Harrison as the OLBs... wow!!!).

lowester
03-19-2013, 08:10 AM
I'll have to see it to believe it..

Fire Haley
03-19-2013, 08:30 AM
Nobody is expecting Jason Worilds to be James Harrison

well that's exactly what we need - without a dominant pass rush by our OLB's our bargain basement secondary will get torn to shreds - scheme can only do so much

Plus we were extremely fortunate that Timmons lasted a whole season - if he gets hurt we're really screwed

We can win with a bunch of schmoes on the DL - not at LB.

wwhickok
03-19-2013, 09:03 AM
Killer is right. No one is expecting him to.be Harrison but we need him to be. If he cant produce remotely close to Harrison, he wont be on the roster in 2014

WokeUpWithaWoodley
03-19-2013, 09:19 AM
I disagree. In Porter's rookie pre-season, he was tearing it up. He didn't end up starting, but everyone knew that he would very soon. Likewise, whenever Harrison filled in for any of the four LBs (he backed up all four positions), everyone could feel his presence. Most of us were begging for him to start over Haggans (can you imagine Porter & Harrison as the OLBs... wow!!!).

Pre-season is Pre-season porter was playing against back ups for the most part. Adrian Robinson was having a good Pre-season but no one is asking him to play because it was Pre-season. There are always players who flash on Pre-season because you are going up against third stringers and such. Porter showed promise which was a sign of good things yes.

Harrison like the article stated in a backup role to porter started 8 games with only getting 4 sacks in three seasons worlids on the other hand had 10 games started with 10 sacks in three seasons. Harrison .5 sacks a game worlids 1 sack a game. So I don't necessarily agree that Harrison was tearing it up and making his presence felt in that time. Even when porter left there was still panic about Harrison replacing him like there is now for Harrison's replacement.

Now I'm not saying worlids will be Harrison, Harrison is one of a kind lb. but we can't just throw in the towel on worlids. Frankly he's our only option to start the season and there is no way around it and I'm excited to see him in a starting role.

Let me say this to the people who have been disappointed in worlids play as a backup. He was responsible for backing up both olb spots and it seem like every game he was playing on the opposite side as The game before. Now for a player that is very hard to do, to switch positions each game esp when rolb and lolb have different roles Ina complex scheme. I appreciate the job he did with flip flopping back and forth because its a hard thing to do. And his health has been a problem yes but now he is fully healthy going into camp.

So with a full training camp of worlids learning and playing ONE SIDE not both with the starting defense will be very helpful as he improves. With a full training camp barring injuries and him focusing on one spot I think he will do just fine.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-19-2013, 10:01 AM
I'm hopeful that Worilds can be healthy for a season and be adequate. I am also hoping that Woodley stays healthy and can get 10 sacks and apply pressure on the QB.

What I really hope for is that we get Corey Lemonier in the 2nd round of the draft. The kid is strong, quick, plays with good leverage, but doesnt look to have much pass rush skill or technique. It will take him a season of NFL practice and coaching to become a better pass rusher, IMO.

teegre
03-19-2013, 10:20 AM
wokeupwithawoodley,

Porter in the pre-season was different than Dwyer in the pre-season: Dwyer was good against back-ups. Porter looked great against everyone he faced. Maybe I was alone in seeing this...

Likewise, Harrison's presence was not his sack total; it was an attitude (of toughness & determination). Again, maybe I was the only one calling for him to replace Haggans...

One last thing: Yes, Worilds had to back up two LB spots. Harrison backed up four spots.

To clarify:
I'm not necessarily "down" on Worilds... but, I know that I was very high on Porter & Harrison. Again, I could be alone in that regard.

Fire Haley
03-19-2013, 10:21 AM
Kipler is right.

what did you call my mother?

harrison'samonster
03-19-2013, 10:58 AM
wokeupwithawoodley,

Porter in the pre-season was different than Dwyer in the pre-season: Dwyer was good against back-ups. Porter looked great against everyone he faced. Maybe I was alone in seeing this...

Likewise, Harrison's presence was not his sack total; it was an attitude (of toughness & determination). Again, maybe I was the only one calling for him to replace Haggans...

One last thing: Yes, Worilds had to back up two LB spots. Harrison backed up four spots.

To clarify:
I'm not necessarily "down" on Worilds... but, I know that I was very high on Porter & Harrison. Again, I could be alone in that regard.

good points. And I agree, before Harrison became a full-time starter fans were thinking he'd be a beast. It wasn't even from just his back-up time, but also watching him (and Keisel) in special teams.

I would love for Worilds to be the player we need, I'm hoping he is. But when Harrison was taking over, people knew he was the player we needed.

Fire Haley
03-19-2013, 11:58 AM
I'm hopeful that Worilds can be healthy for a season and be adequate. I am also hoping that Woodley stays healthy and can get 10 sacks and apply pressure on the QB..



If Woodley loses 30-40 lbs of that fat wallet gut he got last year I have no doubt he can still be a great player.

wwhickok
03-19-2013, 12:08 PM
what did you call my mother?

Only the things she liked lol.



I hate auto correct on my droid

Fire Haley
03-19-2013, 12:10 PM
Only the things she liked lol.



I hate auto correct on my droid

aha

I kind of liked it



Kipler - is an object-oriented tableau framework for rapid development of (modalized) description logic reasoners.It also comes with readily implemented decision procedures for some of these logics

pete74
03-19-2013, 12:20 PM
If Worilds can stay healthy I think he can easily put up a 15 sack season and be the next great Steelers linebacker. He definitely has what it takes. His only downfall is he isn't great at stopping the run but I'm sure they will spend the off season working on that and he will come in week one and play great.

Fire Haley
03-19-2013, 12:24 PM
If Worilds can stay healthy I think he can easily put up a 15 sack season .

15 sacks next year?

is that a bet?

Hawaii 5-0
03-19-2013, 12:29 PM
Rooney on settlement, Worilds' readiness

Bob Labriola
Steelers Digest

The sexy stuff, the debate and the vote on some proposed rules changes, doesn’t take place until Tuesday. That’s when the NFL owners who have assembled in Phoenix this week will decide on the tuck rule, and some possible tweaks to instant replay, and prohibiting running backs from lowering their heads when they encounter defensive players outside the tackle box. Those are the things that draw most fans’ interest.

But what happened on Monday was a good thing. What happened on Monday is going to help some people who need it.

The NFL and a group of its well-known retired players stood together to announce the settlement of a class action lawsuit challenging the use of retired player images in NFL Films footage and seeking compensation for such uses. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Minneapolis in 2009, and the settlement means the NFL will contribute $42 million to a newly established Common Good Fund that will be administered by a group of retired players and used to support retired players who are struggling.

“We see this as a very positive step that will help promote our retired players, our game and will ultimately be very beneficial for our retired players long term,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the settlement announcement.

For nearly a full calendar year, Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan has been actively involved in supervising the settlement process and helped the parties reach an agreement.

“We settled a case with our retired players, which is significant from the standpoint that we’ve got more litigation going on than we would like, and to get one piece of this out of the way is a big thing,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “To have a group of retired players come in and express their appreciation and their interest in working together, that’s an important piece of the puzzle of what we’re going to get done moving forward here.”

Immediately moving forward, in terms of the the agenda for the meetings, Rooney said he expected to attend a presentation by the Competition Committee on all of the proposed rules changes before the close of business on Monday, with voting to come on most of those proposals during the day on Tuesday.

But as it has been throughout this offseason, whenever Rooney, or General Manager Kevin Colbert, or Coach Mike Tomlin has faced the media recently, it hasn’t taken long for the subject to get around to James Harrison. And as it also was on this occasion, on whether Jason Worilds is ready to step in and fill a position that has been manned by the likes of Greg Lloyd, Joey Porter, and then Harrison.

“Jason will certainly have an opportunity this year, and we’ll see how he does with it,” said Rooney. “You never know. Over the years, we certainly have had players that when they were given their opportunity, like James was, they stepped forward and really did a great job. Jason has certainly shown flashes of being a great pass rusher. So he’ll certainly have an opportunity to show what he can do this year.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Rooney-on-settlement-Worilds-readiness/8b2f8241-13a0-4097-9504-88b44df5b38e

Fire Haley
03-19-2013, 12:31 PM
“Jason will certainly have an opportunity this year, and we’ll see how he does with it,” said Rooney. “You never know"


now there's a throbbing endorsement

steeltheone
03-19-2013, 12:32 PM
15 sacks next year?

is that a bet?

Wow...That's a ballsy prediction!

Bane
03-19-2013, 12:35 PM
So are we to take this as, "We're not drafting an outside linebacker in round one?"

teegre
03-19-2013, 01:09 PM
If Worilds can stay healthy I think he can easily put up a 15 sack season and be the next great Steelers linebacker. He definitely has what it takes. His only downfall is he isn't great at stopping the run but I'm sure they will spend the off season working on that and he will come in week one and play great.

I hope the hell that you are right!!! I'd take 10 sacks, but 15 sacks... well... that's DPOY material.

SkipBayless69
03-19-2013, 01:26 PM
15 sacks next year?

is that a bet?

There is no possible way, barring injury, that Worilds does not put up 15 sacks per season. When I look at Worilds I see the next great Steelers linebacker maybe THE greatest ever Steelers linebacker. He has all the tools: the agility of Greg Lloyd, the power of James Harrison, the awareness of Jack Ham and the same shaped head as Joey Porter!

harrison'samonster
03-19-2013, 01:32 PM
So are we to take this as, "We're not drafting an outside linebacker in round one?"

I wouldn't read into it like that

pete74
03-19-2013, 01:56 PM
So are we to take this as, "We're not drafting an outside linebacker in round one?"

I bet we grab one but it may not be round one like alot of people think. Colbert dosnt want to miss this year and I believe he will try to grab the best player available that fits our needs

BLACK_AND_YELLOW
03-19-2013, 01:58 PM
Im still hoping we still can sign Victor Butler so we dont have to worry about OLB until late in the draft

FrancoLambert
03-19-2013, 04:24 PM
There is no possible way, barring injury, that Worilds does not put up 15 sacks per season. When I look at Worilds I see the next great Steelers linebacker maybe THE greatest ever Steelers linebacker. He has all the tools: the agility of Greg Lloyd, the power of James Harrison, the awareness of Jack Ham and the same shaped head as Joey Porter!

From your keyboard to God's ears.

Although I'd question the "awareness of Jack Ham." Few had and have that.

Hawaii 5-0
03-27-2013, 02:21 PM
Worilds excited about challenge ahead

Teresa Varley
Steelers.com

http://prod.static.steelers.clubs.nfl.com//assets/images/imported/PIT/photos/2013_Centerpiece_Misc/03-March/Worilds_Jason_Centerpiece_03262013_1.jpg

Jason Worilds was going through his normal Saturday routine, a workout at an Atlanta gym, when he noticed his phone light up with a text message from a friend. He took a quick look, but even after reading it didn’t know what his friend meant. When his workout wrapped up, Worilds went back to the phone and this time instead of just one message, his phone had blown up with texts and voice mails, all telling him the same thing.

The Steelers had just released James Harrison.

Suddenly, Jason Worilds became the presumptive starter for the Steelers at right outside linebacker, a reality that didn’t even hit him while he was retrieving those messages.

“I don’t know if that was even my initial thought when I picked up the phone and read those texts, that it hit me that way,” said Worilds. “But it does make sense that that’s how it would play out.

“It’s definitely exciting for me personally, but it’s tough, too. A lot of people don’t understand about the friendships, there are people you get close with in training camp and during the season and they could be gone the next year. While it’s a great opportunity for me, James is a friend I saw day in and day out. It’s bittersweet in that regard.”

There isn’t much time for sentiment or reminiscing, though. Worilds must utilize every moment of this offseason to prepare, and even something as simple as that has eluded him in each of the previous three. As a rookie in 2010 he was just getting his feet wet. In 2011, there was the lockout. Last year it was a wrist injury preventing him from participating.

“This will be his first full offseason to participate, so this will be a big year for him,” said linebackers coach Keith Butler. “It will be real big for him. Now he knows what we’re trying to do defensively, so this will help him as far as advancing and getting better.”

Worilds, who started two games at left outside linebacker last year when LaMarr Woodley was injured, has seen his playing time in the defense gradually increase, but always for medical reasons. This time it’s different.

“My main focus has always been to get better every time I step on the field,” said Worilds. “I’m more comfortable in my assignments, so I’m not just trying not to make a mistake, but to go and make a play. I have been fortunate enough to transition easily from defensive end in college to an outside linebacker. You have to know your position, where to be and how it affects the man next to you. You have to know how important it is for you to do your job and the way you do your job. I want to do the right things, at the right time and the right way.”

Butler said he would be comfortable with Worilds at right outside linebacker, especially with the experience he now has under his belt.

“I might not have been comfortable a couple of years ago,” said Butler. “but I tell them all this: the more they do and the more they do right, the more confidence I get in them. I’m not going to play them unless I have confidence in them, and their teammates do, too. He reacts and lines up correctly and for the most part does what we ask him to do. He gives us a sense that he has heard what I have told him.

“He can handle the challenge. He wouldn’t have made it this far if he couldn’t. He has had two Pro Bowlers in front of him. Now he doesn’t, and he has the opportunity to show that he belongs. It’s a great opportunity for him, one that he has been wanting. He has verbalized that to me several times. He felt like he should be playing more, and I don’t want them if they don’t all feel like they should be playing. If I was them I would feel like I should be playing if I’m at this level.

“They’re all anxious to play and a lot of times they aren’t ready. Jason is ready. He is ready to play. He has waited his time, done what he has had to do in terms of learning the defense. He feels like he is ready to play, and I feel that way, too.”

Butler has seen the progress and believes Worilds’ speed is definitely his best asset. It is that speed and his explosion that will get Worilds to the quarterback.

“It’s going to be a little harder to (block) him when he’s coming off the edge,” said Butler. “Hopefully he can get some guys off balance then take them back to the quarterback if they try to block him.”

Worilds knows the expectations are high, especially at a position that has been manned by Greg Lloyd, Joey Porter, and James Harrison.

“I knew there were some great ones to play the outside linebacker position, but I wasn’t aware all those guys were on the right side,” said Worilds. “It’s a great tradition.

“I’m at one of the most prestigious positions and places in the NFL, if not the most prestigious, playing linebacker for the Steelers. This is where you want to be if you’re a linebacker. It’s great to play linebacker for this team. It’s the place to play. Growing up as a linebacker, this is where you want to be.

While he respects those who came before him on the right side, Worilds knows better than to try to copy them. He’s a different player with his own style, and he’s comfortable with that.

“I’m not James Harrison,” said Worilds. “He was a great player. But people are going to see Jason Worilds out there. They are going to see effort and fire.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Worilds-excited-about-challenge-ahead/14b33dd3-385a-4903-bb3e-0fcfb2f66da8