By Alex Kozora
A short breakdown of the five snaps played by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin against the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving.
1. 1st and 10, 3:011 1st. The new nickel package linebacker, replacing Vince Williams. Ravens run a draw. Right guard Marshal Yanda able to combo block and get to the second level and stick to Garvin. Gets under his pads and sticks to him until after the whistle. Garvin doesn’t have strength to absorb, let alone shed.
2. 2nd and 7, 2:33. Drops into hook zone. Pass thrown into the flats.
3. 1st and 10, 1:17. As shown in the game breakdown, Jason Worilds doesn’t set the edge and Bernard Pierce turns the corner. Garvin does get off the block but doesn’t have the speed nor balance to chase the running back down, having trouble staying coordinated and bellyflopping onto the turf at the end of the play.
4. 1st and 10, :52. Drops to zone coverage. Pass away from him.
1. 2nd and 6, 9:37 2nd. Blitzes with Lawrence Timmons as each linebacker attacks an “A” gap. Ray Rice effectively cuts him.
A fun-size player breakdown this week with Garvin picking up just five snaps. The team hasn’t used much nickel this year but the last two weeks have made it clear the rookie linebacker is the nickel linebacker over Vince Williams.
The rationale behind it is unclear which isn’t to say it’s a negative thing. Just unclear if it’s a product of Garvin playing well or Williams playing poorly. Guessing the former. But by that same token, it’s cutting into Vince Williams snaps which are already scarce to begin with.
Playing only five snaps tells you very little but he doesn’t possess much upper body strength and looks like a liability against the run. Hopefully as he dedicates himself to the weight room and bulks up, he’ll become better there.