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Steelers Rookie LB Terence Garvin Is Quietly Receiving Limited Playing On Defense


Over the years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been notorious for not giving young defensive players much playing time as rookies. However, that has changed this year as linebackers Jarvis Jones and Vince Williams, along with safety Shamarko Thomas, have seen quite a bit of playing time this season as rookies.

That trio of draft picks aren’t the only ones to buck system this season, either, as undrafted rookie free agent linebacker Terence Garvin has recently started to receive playing time over the course of the last several weeks as well.

While it is probably mostly due to outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley missing the last three plus games with a calf injury, Garvin, who was originally signed following a tryout at the Steelers rookie mini camp, has logged a total of 10 snaps on defense in three of the last four games. In the Thursday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens, he saw a season-high five snaps on defense, with four of them coming late in the first quarter.

When Garvin was on the field against the Ravens, the Steelers were in their nickel sub package instead of their quarters sub package that they have used predominantly this season. Before Woodley went down, the Steelers would occasionally have him, Jones and Jason Worilds all on the field at the same time on passing downs along with two extra defensive backs and two down defensive linemen.

Garvin was a safety/linebacker hybrid at West Virginia. His athleticism and ability to tackle has made a regular on special teams as a rookie and it appears right now that the Steelers view him as an inside nickelbacker for the time being.

While the West Virginia product has only registered one tackle thus far in his limited playing time, the fact that he has been given a few snaps is something to watch for moving forward, especially when Woodley returns to action.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Good. I have a feeling about this kid, he has versatility, he tackles well and he plays on special teams. All are coveted by the coaching staff. Don’t think he’ll ever be a starter but he could provide cheap solid depth next season

  • dgh57

    I’m starting to like Garvin in that he’s a Safety/LB hybrid type guy. Makes me wonder what kind of a combo can be devised with Spence when he comes back next year.

  • Bob Graff

    Like i have stated in other posts if team is to regain it’s standing as an elite NFL team we cannot embrace mediocre players. Nor do the Steelers have the time for projects. Remember Greg Lloyd was a 6th rd. draft choice. we need these types of players.

  • steeltown

    Most players can be deemed projects when they enter the League unless they are high draft picks with good pedigree, even A.Brown was a “project” when he was drafted, basically considered a depth guy with return capabilities. You cant have 1st Rd expensive talent at every position and you most certainly cant have high pedigree at every backup position either. Every Team needs inexpensive depth.

  • Bob Graff

    What i’m saying is if the kid gets ten plays and makes no plays don’t hype him. If he comes in and and shows something , like 2 tackles and one for loss that’s different. Words like pedigree potential and high draft choice need to be ignored. We need hard nosed in your face who cares what round i was drafted in type of players Not wait we can’t give up on a first rounder , if a player can’t produce send him home.We are at the point were we need players not pedigree or potential.

  • steeltown

    No ones hyping him up, Bryan mentioned he’s receiving more snaps and I mentioned his versatility and good special teams play.
    He’s been a positive dating back to training camp. You cant expect a guy to produce much when he’s receiving 3or4 snaps a game, (10 total in 3 games) its still very early in this thing, maybe next year he makes the roster again and shows some growth

  • Bob Graff

    I don’t think you get what i’m saying. Being positive or high pedigree or high draft choice or making progress doesn’t matter. Can he open your eyes and knock your socks off when he plays. The Steelers should look at what the Sea hawks are doing because they got it right.It doesn’t matter when you were drafted or who you are, the only thing that matters is can you play, let college football develop players we should be about winning championships. An NFL roster is small there isn’t room to develop players. And a maybe next year thought process will get you average real fast.

  • steeltown

    I get what you’re saying, but this Team has always been about developing players and historically their track record speaks for itself

  • Bob Graff

    Not really is has always been that the backups were just as good as starters. Now it’s just that the talent pool is so thin. And the fan base really doesn’t see it. J. Jones isn’t any good, Bell is below average and you could go on and on. We need good players and they just aren’t on the roster right now. The longer we hold onto mistakes the longer it will take to turn this team around.

  • steeltown

    There were times when we had really good backups yes and we were paying them too much, but you think guys like Keisel and Foote (when they were backups) were not groomed by this Team before they became solid players?

    In the end, we’re talking about a 22yr old kid who has played very very sparingly, I’ll reserve judgment on whether he can be a contributor or not till such time he proves otherwise

  • Bob Graff

    Hey sleeltown we do disagree , I do think Jones and Bell are below average players who have been given every opportunity but have shown little more than mediocre results not championship player results. Hey peace out for now and have a happy holiday.

  • steeltown

    Happy Holidays

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