By Matthew Marczi
Jason Worilds may not have gotten a ton of playing time in the last game, but he did make the most of his opportunities, particularly during one drive with about five minutes to play in the third quarter.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had just scored a field goal, and the subsequent kickoff was returned to just the 17-yard line. The Steelers were in their quarter defense, and Troy Polamalu came up to the line to show blitz on first down.
On the play, Worilds was at the inside linebacker spot with Lawrence Timmons rushing off the defensive left edge. He rushed the quarterback from this position, getting a clear alley to the backfield and Jay Cutler thanks to the pressure the Steelers brought.
On this occasion, Worilds closed the gap quickly, pressuring Cutler to get rid of the ball prematurely, as the pass fell harmlessly incomplete in the direction of tight end Martellus Bennett.
On second down, Worilds was actually able to get the inside angle on the left tackle, but Cutler simply got the ball away for too quickly. On third and two, Worilds beat the left tackle again, this time to the outside, and actually got a hit on the quarterback, disrupting his throw completely, which again fell harmlessly incomplete.
Unfortunately, there was a penalty on the play, so instead of forcing a punt, the Steelers gave their opponents a fresh set of downs, spoiling the good work Worilds had done. However, Ike Taylor blew up a screen pass on first down, and LaMarr Woodley registered a sack on second down. On third down, the Steelers showed heavy blitz with seven players right up on the line before Shamarko Thomas dropped into coverage.
Everybody else came on the blitz, however. Cutler was under heavy fire, just narrowly escaping Woodley again, and then Brett Keisel, before he was able to get off a shovel pass to his back, Michael Bush. The only problem was that Worilds followed Bush out of the backfield and was right on his bumper. While Bush was not able to secure the ball anyway, Worilds was right there to bring him down well short of the first even if he had.
Jason Worilds may have lost his starting job to Jarvis Jones, but do not forget about him. The Steelers certainly have not, as they continue to play him in a rotation. On this occasion, the Steelers rewarded his excellent work on this drive by keeping him out there for the next one as well.