How The Signing Of Arthur Moats Affects The Steelers Roster

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have signed former Buffalo Bills linebacker Arthur Moats, let’s take a look at what it means to a few other linebackers already on the roster and one that’s not.

If the Steelers signed Moats with the idea of using him as a backup inside, the fact that he would best fit as a two-down buck linebacker, pushes Kion Wilson even further outside of the bubble as we sit here in March.

If you take the signing of Moats as some sort of threat to inside linebacker Sean Spence, you probably shouldn’t. Spence, if he proves he can make it back from the knee injury that he suffered during the preseason of his rookie year, is best suited to play the mack linebacker spot behind starter Lawrence Timmons. The Steelers 2012 third-round draft pick has a lot of obstacles to overcome, but Moats isn’t one of them.

As far as a return to Pittsburgh for veteran linebacker James Harrison goes, once again, it probably depends on how the Steelers see Moats as a position fit. If they truly believe that he can play both outside and inside, then, yes, his signing could indeed hurt Harrison’s chances of returning. However, fellow outside linebacker Chris Carter hasn’t necessarily impressed during his first three years in the league, so Harrison potentially being brought back can’t entirely be ruled out as a possibility.

The Steelers are expected to address the outside linebacker during the 2014 NFL Draft at some point, so it would make sense that they wait until then to make a decision with Harrison.

In addition, the signing of Moats really shouldn’t change the Steelers approach to the draft as far as middle linebacker goes. For example, if the team is not confident that Spence can recover, Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley could still be in play as he is best suited to play the mack position at the NFL level.

  • J&LSteeler

    I just hope he doesn’t expect to wear number 52. Hall of Famer, deceased there. RIP, Webby…

  • Chris S

    Doubtful he would…as even though theres only like 1 number retired…there are a group of others they just don’t give out.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think Moats might make the draft be a one or type draft. They will probably take EITHER an ILB or an OLB, but probably not both.

  • Ike Evans

    OLB depth….ILB in a pinch but mostly this is a special teams move….moats is an awesome special teams player and did a lot of good things in that aspect of the game for the bills… Since Curtis brown is now gone that left a little bid of a void on special teams because while Curtis couldn’t find a spot at corner he was a very key special teamer for us

  • Matt Manzo

    If I hear Chris Carter’s name again I’m gonna hurl! A rookie or Harrison should get his spot!

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Why not both?

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Something to keep in mind (referencing the previous article and podcast on Jason Worilds)…

    We drafted Worilds (a 2nd round OLB) in 2010, when we already had Woodley and Harrison. Both of them pretty much in their primes. Plus we had drafted Timmons in the 1st round.

    My point… The Steelers love LB’s. They can never have too many. If Harrison has to sit and wait for Porter to leave, so be it. If Worilds has to sit and wait for Woodley to leave, so be it. They will likely be drafting 2 LB’s more this year.

    I think last off season was a perfect storm (where we lost Harrison plus Woodley was injured unexpectedly plus we lost Foote plus Spence wasn’t recovered plus we never really replaced Farrior plus none of our young guys really advanced).

    The coaches/front office realized what a precarious situation we were in and LEAPED at the chance to get a productive SEC OLB in a slight panic move. It appears they are now re-building their LB depth the right way. A mix of youth and veteran talent, while getting rid of all injury prone players.

    I see a pass rushing OLB in the first 3 rounds this year.

  • Paddy

    He will backup Worilds and Jarvis

  • 1stepforward

    Though he apparently doesn’t excel at any position, he has experience at both ILB and OLB. Additionally, next to Timmons, he is now the LB with the best health history on the roster. A nice signing for depth at minimal cost.

  • Matt Manzo

    Yes! Both would be better! Guys like Westerman whichever udfas we bring in might take Harrison’s spot? Depending on special teams play?
    Still unsure if the FO sees Harrison as a bonus or if they want to get younger?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Agreed Chris Webby’s number won’t be issued out just like other Steelers Greats like 32 58 59 75

  • Axe Skot

    Ha-ha. I wrote earlier this year that they would draft 2 linebackers and I got voted down pretty hard. If the Steelers had to field an entire team with one position, it would be linebacker. As it should be.

  • Randy Neff

    Ike Taylor was a guest on Bob Pompeani’s Saturday radio show 9 days ago, and had a glowing report on Spence. Ike said last year in practice he was blowing people up and expects him to have a monster season. I’ll be shocked if they address the inside linebacker positions at all in the draft.

  • JP

    Signing JH is a no brainer….would not cost much @ all