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Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB Jason Worilds

By Matthew Marczi

End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.

Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.

Player: Jason Worilds

Position: Outside Linebacker

Experience: 4 Years

Although the team as a whole could be summed up as ‘a tale of two seasons’, the narrative applies particularly well for fourth-year outside linebacker Jason Worilds, who began earning himself a lot of money in his impending free agency in the second half of the year after moving to the left side.

Worilds opened the season as a starter for the first time in his career after the Pittsburgh Steelers parted with James Harrison in the offseason, but that was only due to the fact that rookie first-rounder Jarvis Jones’ development was halted for a couple weeks after suffering a chest bruise as the result of falling on the football on an interception return.

Jones was in the starting lineup by the second game, where he remained for several weeks to begin the season until he missed a week due to a concussion. Although he didn’t even have one of his better games in the bout that Jones missed, Mike Tomlin reinserted Worilds into the starting lineup, where he slowly began to pick it up.

His pass rush started to pick up in the eighth game of the season against the New England Patriots, during which he had two sacks going up against Nate Solder. In truth, however, his work in the running game did not pick up until he took over on the left side for the injured LaMarr Woodley.

Even though the difference is fairly significant—especially if you look at it statistically through the prism of a Pro Football Focus or something similar—I am not inclined to believe that his superior play against the run was merely due to his move to the left side.

After all, the majority of his playing time in his first three years in the league came on the left side, during which time he did not show the prowess against the run that was on display down the stretch in 2013.

Nonetheless, it is observable fact that Worilds had a significantly better second half of the season than a first half, and that the majority of the second half was spent commandeering the left outside linebacker spot.

The numbers really speak for themselves. Of his 63 tackles, 39 came in his last seven games of the year, recalling that he missed the season finale and was limited in the game prior. He had five of his eight sacks in his last six games. While he didn’t perhaps reach the level of ‘playmaker’, he did cause two fumbles. He proved that he can be a valuable contributor to a team, but will that team be the Steelers in 2014?

Previous Articles In This Series
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Antonio Brown
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Emmanuel Sanders
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – TE Heath Miller
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Marcus Gilbert
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G David DeCastro
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G Ramon Foster
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Kelvin Beachum
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – RB Le’Veon Bell
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – C Fernando Velasco
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – FB Will Johnson
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Brett Keisel
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – NT Steve McLendon
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Cameron Heyward
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB LaMarr Woodley

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