Jason Worilds Could Be In Line To Double His 999 Career Defensive Snaps in 2013

999! No, not bottles of beer on the wall. That\’s the number of defensive snaps that Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds has played on defense since being drafted in second round of 2010 draft.

While that number does not equate to a full season worth of playing time, it is pretty close. Depending on what happens with veteran linebacker James Harrison over the next few days, Worilds could be in line to start adding to that number as a full-time starter.

Harrison could be released over the next few days if he doesn\’t accept a pay cut. Even if he is retained, you would have to think that the Steelers want to get Worilds, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, on the field more in 2013. If that isn\’t accomplished, then the Steelers organization effectively wasted a second round draft pick by selecting him. Many will say that they wasted the pick when they didn\’t draft Sean Lee instead. The jury has been out a while on the selection, but a verdict is forthcoming.

Worilds split time early last season with Chris Carter on the right side with Harrison sidelined by his knee issue. Why was he forced to split time? His recovery from off-season wrist surgery cost him a considerable amount off practice time leading up to the season. In fact, he didn\’t play in any of the Steelers four preseason games and wasn\’t able to practice until right before the season started because of his lengthy stay on the PUP list.

Worilds finally got himself up to speed after the first quarter of the season was in the books and it was a good thing that he did. LaMarr Woodley was lost with a hamstring injury early in the Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles and Worilds filled in for him. The Virginia Tech product would go on to fill in for Woodley quite a bit on the left side from there on out due to injuries and that is where he logged most of his 425 snaps of playing time as a result.

Worilds has taken the same path that several other Steelers linebackers have taken before him. It is rare for any Steelers defensive player to start in their rookie season and very few have been able to crack the lineup in their second year. Years three and four, however, is usually when the ones that will stick long-term crack the starting lineup. It\’s now or never for Worilds.

Worilds managed to log 5 sacks last season in the 175 times that he rushed the quarterback. He finished the season second on the team in sacks as Harrison and Lawrence Timmons led the way with 6 each. Is he ready to assume the starting right outside linebacker role in 2013? Are the Steelers confident enough in him to handle it? Releasing Harrison certainly would indicate that they are.

The way that things are heading right now with Harrison, Worilds could be on his way to playing 999 or more snaps on defense in 2013. It is a crucial year for both him and the Steelers, who have to get more production out of their outside linebackers than they have the last two seasons.

  • Hai Tran

    They really didn’t know what they had in Harrison in 2007 when they released Joey Porter. In 2004-2006, Harrison started 8 games between 2004-2006 and logged only 3 sacks and 86 tackles, hardly setting the worilds on fire, pun intended . In fact, he was known more in 2007 for slamming a Browns fan to the ground than his play. I think Worilds biggest liability will be in the run game, but it’s time to take the diapers off and see what we are getting for a 2nd round pick. Love Deebo, but its time to get younger and cheaper.

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    I know its diluted stats, being that they are calculated over the course of three seasons and from playing time on the left side and the right side.. but if you think about it, Worilds has less then a full season of snaps under his belt as a whole, but he still accumulated double digit sacks (10) and 80comb tackles…. I know I know can be read however you want to, but it is interesting

  • RW

    My hope is that they make an exception to their policy of negotiating mid-season with Worilds, particularly if he’s lighting things up. I wholeheartedly believe he is the answer at OLB. We really need to secure our first and second rounders earlier in order to avoid these outrageous pay-days and so much turnover in free agency (See: Keenan Lewis, Mike Wallace, etc.). I also hope they sign Cortez Allen to a longer term extension to get him on the cheap. They’d need to do it before they sign Keenan, though, in order to avoid giving any motivation to Cortez to wait to sign a contract.

  • Jollyrob68

    RipThe Band-Aid Off and get it over with. It’s time for the next generation of stars to shine.

  • steeltown

    I happen to agree with you.. its a dangerous cycle we’ve gotten in with not allowing players to play/start until their contract years.. and I know alot of it has to do with the fact that we have veteran core players at most positions… but damn

    C.Allen is signed through 2014, so lets say K.Lewis is re-signed, he’ll start next to Ike in 2013 with Cortez as nickel… they should strongly consider signing Cortez before he would ultimately start next to K.Lewis, ideally before the 2014 season, he’d be slightly cheaper one because he is not the ‘starter’ on the outside and two because he is not a UFA.. Problem is Pouncey and Hood and Worilds and possibly McLendon/Sanders/Dwyer or whoever will also be up for contract after 2013

  • Garrett Hunt

    I hope both he and McClendon get an opportunity to prove themselves. Can’t wait to see what they can do. I think they could be part of our defense for a long time.

  • steeltown


    Fans and Coaches alike are to fixated on the core veteran players to realize that at 8-8 its time to move on with some of these guys

  • Mikey Hoje

    Woriids was drafted due to his 4.51 speed that OPENED MT’s eyes over Lee of Pitt… with 3 yrs of coaching, strength training, if he fails, chalk it up to injuries or not meant to be…

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    After the 2010 draft, a photo was leaked showing the Steelers big board where Lee was ranked higher than Worilds. At the time we had Farrior and Foote and Timmons at ILB. With pretty much just Harrison and Woodley at OLB. I think with Timmons failing to dominate at OLB, Tomlin didn’t want to “log jam” ILB when the bigger need was at OLB. A classic example of reaching for need over value.

    I’m not hating on Worilds, I think/hope he’ll be a solid player. But had we drafted Lee we would now be lined up with Woodley-Lee-Timmons-Harrison and could’ve used any number of picks on a Worilds-comparable pass rusher (ex. Justin Houston) and be set right now instead of having to draft two LBs now. Stick to your board Tomlin.

  • TsarPepe

    Traditionally, MLBs have been much easier to find (and cheaper) than OLB. This was especially true of 3-4 OLB coming out of college. A rare breed. I am not at all surprised that the Steelers took Worilds over Lee.

  • Michael Walsh

    I disagree, the few time Harrison played back then he was a monster. He filled in for Porter the game he got thrown out and spent the whole day harassing the QB. There are plays that I am not sure Worlids gets across the line of scrimmage when pass rushing. We knew what we had in Harrison, we also know what we have in Worlids…a Bust.

  • steeltown

    Explain how the ‘bust’ had more sacks than Woodley in 2012 and only one less than Harrison.. and with limited snaps

    Also, how do we know what we have in a player that hasnt been a full time starter?? One thing I do know is the few times he’s actually started, he’s produced, including two double sack games against a Divisional opponent

  • zyzak

    Lee can’t stay on the field either, he’s hurt more than Worilds

  • Bob Francis

    I don’t have it in front of me, but I think Football Outsiders said before this season that Worilds looked good based on their metrics, although it was obviously only measured across a limited number of snaps. I think there’s promise there, but how will we know until he’s given the snaps to prove it?

  • steeltown

    Exactly.. I think the only knock on Worilds at this point would be against the run, which he has been making improvements on… another offseason with Coach Butler and I expect big things heading into a contract year

  • Josh

    double sack games. double digit sack games means he should’ve been starting a looong time ago 🙂

  • steeltown

    Yea gotcha.. error on my behalf.. he’d be a star!

  • SteelSpine

    Right after end of Steelers last game, PG reported (I forget which writers there wrote it) Worlids will be the Steelers starting ROLB the first reg season game of next year. The reason I remember that is it was so long ago but they wrote it with conviction without even any doubt, didn’t say “probably” (even tho Carter & will probably have a rookie high draftpick OLB on our roster). Then PG never wrote about it again, apparently they didn’t need to, they are appearing correct all along.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Most of Worlids sacks come from his relentless motor…he really doenst get the pressure Harrison does on a consistant basis.

  • alex

    gotta go list; Harrison, Colon, Lewis…

    sign’em now; Worilds, Foster, C. Allen…

    then reap the benefits of strength via youth movement…

  • Nolrog

    They don’t have to worry about negotiating mid-season. Worilds would be a RFA next year. Besides, I seriously doubt he’s going to be lighting things up.

  • Nolrog

    Worilds is a speed rusher, but doesn’t possess the power to bowl people over, so a decent OL could take him out of the play.