During his talk with the media on Saturday, Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler was asked if 2013 was a make or break year for fourth-year linebacker Stevenson Sylvester.
“No doubt for him,” said Butler. “He knows that. That is something I talked to him about at the end of the season. I talked to all of them about this at the end of the season. It doesn’t matter the reason that you are not on the field. If you are hurt like LaMarr Woodley, he was hurt. It doesn’t matter the reason that he wasn’t on the field, he just wasn’t on the field.
“We have to remedy where that reason is and the same thing with Sly. Sly was injured. We had little nagging injuries here and there. We had a few of those last year. We have to eliminate those and keep ourselves in position where we are available and can play during the year and not be sitting on the sideline watching the game with me because they have an injury. So we have to do things to try and correct that if we can.”
In summation, Butler managed to send a message to not only Sylvester, but Lamarr Woodley as well. The Steelers former fifth-round draft pick from 2010 hasn\’t even played 100 snaps on defense since coming into the league and thus did not receive a restricted free agent tender back in March after his rookie contract expired.
There was no market for Sylvester in free agency and the Steelers signed him back to a one-year deal for the minimum just a few weeks ago. He should make it to training camp with the team, but it is up to him to prove that he deserves a roster spot this year.