Too Early To Label Jason Worilds An Alonzo Jackson Type Bust

The first preseason game against Detroit is rapidly approaching and training camp is already in its 12th day. One of the biggest disappointments thus far in training camp has been the news on second round pick Jason Worilds. Worilds has missed valuable time trying to shake a hamstring injury and is having to learn the complex Dick LeBeau defense by merely taking mostly mental reps. Worilds is already getting knocks in the local papers and is probably pushing himself way too hard to overcome both the injury and the early naysayers.

Jason WorildsBefore I go any further, let me state I was not a fan of the Steelers selecting him in the second round as I felt he could of been had at least a round later and we all knew he would be a player that would take time to develop. To label Worilds the next Alonzo Jackson as he is being labeled on many forums is very premature at this point and uncalled for at this early juncture. Immediately after he was selected in the draft, linebackers coach Keith Butler said, “We think this kid could come in and help us in terms of depth and help us on special teams as he learns the defense. As you know, since I’ve been here we’ve never had a rookie linebacker start in this system. We like to groom them for a couple years and let them get their feet underneath them. The guys that have been successful here have always been good on special teams for us the first couple years they’ve been here. And we think this guy will be in that mode.” That should be all you need to know about Worilds in year one as he has been worked on the right side, which is not his natural side he played at Virginia Tech. Worilds is also termed a speed guy and a speed guy hampered by a hamstring injury needs to concentrate on getting healthy first.

Jackson , who was drafted in the 2nd round in 2003, was merely a speed rush guy and lacked strength at the point of attack. He also never good dropping into coverage. Coming out of college, Worilds, while not great, is already twice as good as Jackson was in college at dropping. Jackson was also a bit of a head case, while Worilds seems to be “all there” upstairs. I think this why the Steelers took him where they did knowing that the comparisons to Jackson would likely be a concern initially. The biggest thing Worilds needs to do is to get healthy and I doubt he will play Saturday versus the Lions, but hopefully can get a full week of practice in prior to the second preseason game versus the Giants. Where Worilds can help initially in year one is on special teams. Until he gets his speed back, that is out the question. He was not slated to be anything more than that this year and anything he contributes above that in 2010 is a plus. Let us hold off passing judgment and comparing him to Jackson until this same time next year. If he does not make the noticeable jump by then, it might be time to worry. Worilds is surrounded by great talent and coaching along with a full calender year ahead of him to live up to his draft status. Right now, time is on his side just like Butler said. Right now he just needs to get his feet underneath him or in his case, his hamstring.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Steve T

    Hold on people! It takes times for prople to develop in Steelers defensive system. I recall a lot of people did not like Ziggy Hood and believe that he should have played as a rookie. But after year of working out and learning the system, he is poised to be one of the best DL in Steeler history. I know it is too early to tell but he is aking some noise in camp and everyone is excited about his play. Now let us step back and look at Greg Llyold who had issues his first few years in the NFL. But when he got those injuries behind him, he became one of the best ever at his position.

  • Wilkinsburgvillian

    Steelers are good at the linebacker position james farrior gettin up there in age Lawerence Timmons can take his place who has really exceeded expectation that kid is a MAN! Key Fox hasn’t got his opportunity full time , Woodley and harrison secured their starting position seasons ago. Aaron smith i like him but he is getting old and has to be replaced.. Hampton is a beast but is aging as well. Steelers need depth in D-line(Nick eason aint cuttin it) improvement in Secondary ball hog corner who takes chances. Tight End(Heath cant do it all) wide reciever we need a young big possesion reciever i still love u hines! and running back put Dwyer on the field b4 Mendenhall gets ran to death like fast willie. resign ryan clark that boy can tackle so can Ike taylor.. Bryant Mcfadden if he can jump those short hitch routes people love to run on us and stay discipline he might have a breakout season. Jason Worilds has plenty of time to develop he’s not a bust but here the list of steeler bust since tomlin era. Limas sweed, keon lewis, william gay, jonathan scott maybe not scott who knows but for the most well be fine bow down to numba 43 hes a king.

  • chris app

    his first year nd already goin to a superbowl..damn man thinkin tht he played on the same team i play on now..he use to go to carteret high school and he was a rambler just like me..even tho we play different positions this guy is a role model to our whole team..best of luck to him…now all thts left is to watch the packers go down with a loss and the steelers come out with the W