Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Vince Williams had a good showing last week in the preseason opener against the New York Giants as he recorded three total tackles, one sack and one quarterback hurry during the 28 plays that he played. Veteran inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who like Williams went to college at FSU, was asked late last week to give his thoughts on the play of the Steelers sixth-round draft pick during an interview on 105.9 The X Radio.
“He was known as a in-the-box player before but he actually made a lot more plays on third down during the game, so that was real huge for him,” Timmons said. “I told him if he wanted to play here he has to establish himself as third down. Over here, you want to be an all three-down linebacker and I told him if he does that, that will separate him from the rest.”
So in Timmons\’ opinion, is Williams showing that he can diversify his game?
“He has,” said the Steelers former first-round draft pick. “This camp, I say he has a lot. He always has that down-the-hill physical presence, I want him to get more in the space – roaming type of a linebacker type of feel to separate him from the rest. Because this is a business, you want to play and you have to do necessary things like that to get on the field.”
Being as there\’s a good chance Stevenson Sylvester won\’t play Monday night against the Washington Redskins due to an ankle injury, it will be interesting to see just how quickly Williams gets into the game. Against the Giants last week, undrafted free agent Terrence Garvin and second-year man Marshall McFadden saw playing before Williams did.
Following the selection of Williams back in April, Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said he knows the young linebacker can hit, but that they have to figure if he is able to cover as well. Against the Giants, Williams allowed one catch for one yard on the one play he was targeted.