Keith Butler Says Rookie LB Vince Williams Needs To Bring His Feet When He Tackles

Outside of him seeming to be able to pick up the defense quickly during the rookie camp back in May, we haven\’t heard too much about Pittsburgh Steelers rookie inside linebacker Vince Williams, but David Todd of 970 ESPN Radio was able to catch up with linebackers coach Keith Butler last week to get his thoughts on the Florida State product.

“Vince Williams has shown some things,” said Butler. “He\’s picking up the defense very well, but he\’s got to learn to bring his feet when he\’s tackling a little bit. He needs to work on his tackling.”

One of the big knocks on Williams when he was drafted was that he was only considered a two-down linebacker that needed to prove he could cover at the next level. One of the positives about him, however, was his ability to hit.

“The thing that attracts us to him is that he will hit you,” Butler said immediately after the selection of Williams. “There are two things you can’t teach linebackers in this league. One of them is how fast are you going to be and the other one is will you hit somebody.”

What Butler means by Williams not bringing his feet while tackling is that he is leaving his feet instead of driving through the player he is hitting. We\’ve actually seen fellow inside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester have that same problem during his limited playing time in previous preseason games.

As of Tuesday, Williams is listed as the third-team BUCK linebacker behind Larry Foote and Sylvester, so we can probably expect to see him play in the third or fourth quarter of the Saturday night game against the New York Giants. When he is in the game, it will be important to watch not only how well he has improved in his ability to read and react while in coverage, but also if he can bring his feet with him while attempting to make a tackle.

  • T-Stone

    So let’s review slow, needs to focus on tackling and man coverage?. . .Hmmmmm.

    Ya never know how much you miss the Steelers ILB’s until they are released.

    I shall pray for another Farrior pick-up or hopefully Kirkland had a son.

    Go Timmons!

  • Mike.H

    What’s the meaning of “bring his feet”??

  • Chris S

    It answers that question right in the article itself…

  • Bob Loblaw

    I think there was some hope that the pickup of Rolle from the Eagles might add some needed depth to the position, but I haven’t heard a thing about him all camp.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    He’s leaving his feet when he tackles. He needs to drive his legs through his tackles.

  • Steve

    This is what I like about Coach Butler, he teaches. When a player don’t bring his legs to tackle, he goes to tackle and falls down because his legs are not under him. One bad thing that could happen is he gets juked or jumped over then he would miss the tackle, while if he would keep his feet and go through the player there is a better chance of making the tackle. We were always told to look at the pants laces and not the face or shoulders when making a tackle, because the pants laces don’t move if the ball carrier’s head or shoulders moves, so there is a better chance of making the tackle.

  • dgh57

    If he attracted us to him with his hard hits, what will his hits feel like when he starts using his feet? I guess, opposing players are going to feel like a MACK TRUCK hit them!

  • steeltown

    This is a guy I am still uncertain of his fate… with Sly and M.Mcfadden as the primary backups inside, atleast as we stand here today, will Vince have a spot on the 53man roster or will they try and stash him on the PS for a year? I sure hope he shows enough during preseason on Defense AND on ST to warrant a roster spot

    But, if they keep Sly, A.Robinson AND C.Carter I don’t think Vince makes the final roster due to the numbers game, they wont keep 10LBs