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.