Steelers Rookie LB Vince Williams Instructed Teammates At Rookie Camp

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 rookie camp has come and gone and while we did get a few small reports about players from the members of the media present, here is a new tidbit to pass along and it concerns sixth-round draft pick Vince Williams.

Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest was asked on Tuesday during the Steelers Live show if any other player had caught his eye over the weekend after thoroughly discussing the top draft picks and here is what he had to say about Williams.

“The one guy that I kind of noticed was Vince Williams,” said Labriola. “He would be the second pick in the sixth round, an inside linebacker from Florida State. Vince Williams, a couple of the things that I liked about him, were first of all, it wasn\’t very long into the on field sessions when Vince Williams was instructing teammates about where they needed to be – and shifting – and those kind of things.

“Vince Williams did a lot of the defensive play calling during his college career and it seems like he has a very high football IQ and it seemed to me, watching from the side, that that was a little bit on display right from the beginning.”

Labriola continue on about Williams as far as his special teams prospect go.

“The other thing about Vince Williams, and again it\’s something that doesn\’t really show in a rookie mini camp, but I think he\’s going to make special teams coordinator Danny Smith a very happy person.

“One of the main concepts, basic concepts of playing special teams, covering kicks, is find the guy with the ball, get the guy with the ball on the ground. Now that sounds like a very simplistic thing, but sometimes it can be a little bit more complicated than we might think.

“This is a guy who will be able to find the guy with the ball and get him on the ground on special teams plays, and that alone could make him a very valuable part of the 2013 Steelers.”

That certainly is great news to hear that Williams appears to be grasping the defense well and functioning as a leader this early on. Williams, as Labriola pointed out, called the defense while at Florida State but did come out on many a third downs in lieu of a defensive back.

Linebackers coach Keith Butler said during his talk with the media following the selection of Williams that they plan on finding out if he is a two or three down linebacker during training camp.

“The thing that might be a little bit of a drawback is that they took him out on third downs, but they put in another defensive back,” said Butler. “They didn’t put in another linebacker. They put in another defensive back for him. We’ll see. We will make that judgment when we get to training camp whether he is capable of being a three-down linebacker as opposed to being a two-down linebacker.”

As far as Williams being a solid special teams player for the Steelers, the Florida State product was asked during his post selection conference call if he thought that he could help the Steelers in that area.

“I think I would be a tremendous attribute on all special teams,” said Williams. “I actually played all of them at Florida State. My special teams coach taught me all of them. We only focused on a few. He didn’t want a starting linebacker running down there on kickoffs.”

  • steeltown

    Wow.. awesome.. obviously to early to tell anything at this point, but the fact that he was telling players where to shift and those sorts of things, after a couple days of rookie camp is pretty cool

    I like it

  • Weird how he says the kid has a high football IQ. According to some fans it is just “man vs man” a “kids game” as he said. Interesting how having a high football IQ has an advantage.

  • RW

    For sure. I hope he can cover – could turn out to be a great player for us. It’s looking more and more like this draft class could be our best under Tomlin.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    Everything is situational now. If he can play well on 2 downs, that would be great. (I’m not the biggest fan of 4 linebackers on the field on 3rd downs.)

  • steeltown

    I completely agree… especially considering all of our LB’s are big boys and a step slow in coverage.. the nickel and dime defense is awesome to watch, especially considering the Steelers DB/CB’s are physical, tackle well in space and good against the run

  • HarryBackside

    Exactly. With the direction I see this D headed, I think the Buck role is being reduced. we know LeBeau likes to go with two down lineman in nickel. it looks like the team is bringing in guys who fit the Spur position that is used in a lot of college defenses. They are using a hybrid safety/LB to play as a third safety on the strong side, with the SS playing weakside, and the FS playing back. I can see one of the nickel sub packages as 2 DL, Woodley or Worilds playing up on the line, Jarvis Jones filling the vacated OLB spot, with Shamarko replacing Foote, and playing the Spur.

  • TheBlitz

    This is the kind of news I wanna read on a daily basis…a rookie in a position of great need and depth making big strides!

    I predicted this kid will make the 53 man roster and so far Labriola agrees with me.

  • $19122620

    During senior bowl practices it was said that intitially Williams didn’t get a lot of reps but as soon as he started getting a decent amount of reps he immediately interjected a very noticable leadership quality to the defense and sparked the rest of the defense to a whole new level. It was said that the defenses level of play increased significantly. I think this came from Mike Mayock if I am not mistaken.

    I love the physcial play that S. Thomas and V. Williams bring to our team!

  • Kevin Gobleck

    So there’s a chance both our starting linebackers will be from Florida St. Must be something in the water, who knows but i’m ok with it!

  • David Edward

    Now we’re talking football here! Even though they use 2 DL in that package I call it a 4-2-5, because the 2 OLB are basically stand up DE. You take out the Buck and replace with a better cover guy who can still read and react like a LB…the “spur”..and you add the nickle DB. Gives a lot of options to do some exotic blitzes. With Troy and Shamarko…yikes! LeBeau can have some fun! Even Willie Gay is a good blitzer from the nickel.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I was thinking all the same things, just too lazy to write it out.

  • walter mason

    We say that every year.

  • SteelSpine

    Great scoop that he was giving instructions from LB spot.

    But on special teams wait & see how well he does because of history of NFL: Because there’ve been sooo many college players that the NFL scouts all wrote no-brainer those prospects will be great special teams tacklers in NFL, then for some reason more than half those players were not good at it, tho I dunno why. Instead sometimes guys you never expected have best knack for special teams tackling in NFL, i.e sometimes backup receivers, i.e Sean Morray & Don Beebe.

  • TheEsquire212

    As a 26 year FSU fan, you guys will love him. I hate that the Giants didn’t take him sooner SMH.