Pittsburgh Steelers: Keeping Linebacker Jason Worilds On The Left Side Is A Good Move
Lately, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pass rush has shown signs of life. Their defense has recorded 12 sacks over the past four games, and three of those sacks has come from outside linebacker Jason Worilds. The four-year veteran began the 2013 NFL season as the Steelers’ starting pass rusher on the right side, only to be supplanted by rookie Jarvis Jones in Week 2.
After realizing that Jones was still a work in progress, head coach Mike Tomlin made the decision to put Worilds back in the starting lineup. Eventually, Worilds would be moved to the left side of the defense due to the injury of fellow linebacker LaMarr Woodley.
Since making the transition, Worilds, who is in the final year of his contract, has performed well in Pittsburgh’s pass rushing scheme by putting constant pressure on opposing quarterback, and is currently the team’s leader in sacks with six.
After being sidelined for the past three games, Woodley has had limited participation in this week’s practices so far, and is slated to play in this week’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins. However, with the success that Worilds has had in Woodley’s spot, Tomlin just might flip-flop the two linebackers.
ESPN’s Scott Brown tweeted this possibility earlier in the week.
Tomlin says Steelers are considering moving LaMarr Woodley to the right side given how well Jason Worilds is playing on left side.
— Scott Brown (@ScottBrown_ESPN) December 3, 2013
This move seems to be the obvious choice for Tomlin and the Steelers. Worilds definitely looks to be more comfortable on the left side, and it’s obvious that the defense is benefiting from this; keeping Worilds there and moving Woodley to the right outside linebacker position is a no-brainer. Even with the growing pains of Jones, his rotating with Woodley would still be effective.
Having only four games remaining in the regular season, and being in third place in the AFC North, Pittsburgh will need to take advantage of every one of their strong points in order to have a remote chance of making the postseason. With the performance of Worilds being one of those strong points, the Steelers shouldn’t hesitate in keeping him on the left side.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+