Report: Woodley Not Expecting Steelers To Begin Season With Three Man Rotation At OLB

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones returned to practice field on Monday after missing time with a chest injury that he suffered in the third preseason game, but according to Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider, the Georgia product only received one insignificant rep with the first team defense.

During the preseason, Jones saw plenty of playing time with the first-team defense as he was part of a three man rotation that included LaMarr Woodley and Jason Worilds. Despite that rotation, however, Woodley told Wexell that was only for the preseason and that we shouldn’t read much into it beyond that.

Judging by what Woodley had to say, it appears as though Worilds will start at right outside linebacker Sunday in the season opener against the Tennessee Titans and that Jones will be lucky to see any playing time on defense unless an injury occurs.

Should Jones be relegated to only playing on special teams, it won’t be overly surprising considering how the Steelers usually take their time in getting young defensive players on the field because of the complexities of the defense run by Dick LeBeau. LeBeau, however, did say a few weeks ago in an interview that Jones has “it” and that they plan on using “it” at some point during his rookie year.

Jones has progressed fast, but apparently not fast enough and his chest injury may have set him behind a little bit. It appears as though Worilds will start against the Titans and that he and Woodley aren’t expected to come off the field much if any to start the season.

  • Shea Fahr

    Sounds like a little smoke screen from Woodley. If Jarvis can play/rotate in on situational downs, then I cannot see why they would not do it.

  • JohnnyV1

    Unless Worilds is ineffective, or not making “splash” plays.


    Agreed…you don’t go from being considered to start to not playing at all…they may start out with Worilds playing the brunt of the minutes…I could see him playing the entire game vs TN, but when they think Jones is physically ready I expect them to plug him in on certain pkgs.

  • Shea Fahr


  • Shea Fahr

    Agreed. I have seen Worilds do a better job sealing the edge than he has in the past against the run but Jarvis seems to always be around that ball which leads to the much needed turnovers..

  • Jason

    Evidently he hasn’t learned Lebeau’s ultra confusing zone blitz scheme in 3 different languages as is required for anyone with less than 3 years of experience for this team. If he gets 0 snaps it will be a total joke.

  • cencalsteeler

    To me, it seems Worilds is in that same category as Dwyer was. As soon as Worilds makes one mistake, Tomlin seems to pull the trigger on Jason. Even if Jason plays well, one of them will need a breather once in a while, and boom, in comes Jarvis. Jarvis will make a nice play (he seems to be a ball magnet), and so the rotation begins.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I would find this more believable if the statement came from a coach….

    Personally, I think Woodley is worried about his own position. Worilds is much better on Woodley’s side of the D and if he doesn’t produce in the defense…hmm, I wonder what happens.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Exactly. As opposed to Willie Gay who can give up 3 TD catches in 3 games and Tomlin continues to make excuses for him. If you want to make this team, you better stay out of Tomlin’s doghouse first and foremost. Production comes second.

  • treeher

    Yup. Despite not covering passes much in college, Jones appears to have more ability in that area and I can see him in 3rd down situations with options to pass rush as well.

  • dennisdoubleday

    No way Worilds replaces Woodley (except for injury, of course.)

  • dgh57

    Somehow, I don’t see Worilds starting and/or playing a full 16 game schedule with his history of nagging injuries, so Jones will get his chances just because of that.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Agreed. Nice to have depth in that regards. Worilds is an unproven commodity over the last 2 years..He could have over 10 sacks this season or He could only play in 10 games we just dont know.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Well, last year Worilds had 5 sacks to Woodley’s 4. I’m not saying that if Woodley reaches back to his potential that Worilds is a better player, only that if Woodley again falters a contingency plan will need to be developed. What we saw in preseason was exactly this. Worilds moving to the other side some. My hope is that Woodley goes back to the double digit sack player we all knew.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Timmons saw some time his rookie year where they had special ways for him to get pressure on the QB and I am sure Jones will get in the game to try and make a splash play or 2 in the same fashion


    Woodley…no doubt the seat has warmed up for Woodley to the point that knows he has to perform better than LY…but imo he’s not concerned about his job…very expensive to cut him.

    The best thing that can happen right now imo is rotate these guys and hope to have a fresh impact guy on the field in the 4Q. In passing situations I can see all 3 on the field at times.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Woodley + Worilds – injuries = 1 player

  • Ahmad

    The chest injury may have set Jones back a bit so I’m predicting 5 maybe 10 snaps max for him on Sunday.