Steelers Mike Tomlin Admits LB Jason Worilds Is Better Suited To Face Right Tackles

Ever since he came into the league as a second-round draft pick in 2010, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds has always been more productive on the left side than he has been on the right. Monday at the annual NFL Owners’ meeting in Orlando, FL, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin conceded that the Virginia Tech product is better suited to face right side tackle talent.

“I don’t know that (Worilds) was any different,” said Tomlin of Worilds’ 2013 season. “I just think the animal that he faces is a different animal,” said Tomlin. “That right tackle is a little different animal than the left tackle. I think if you’re really looking for differences in performance or highlighting differences in performance, the true answer might be there as opposed to what Jason is doing.

“Although, I will acknowledge that Jason has continued to improve since we’ve had him, and he has grown both on the field and off. Obviously, we like that growth and development.”

Last season, Worilds recorded a career high eight sacks to go along with 21 quarterbacks hits and another 21 hurries. His pass rushing productivity number was much higher on the left side than it was on the right and once starter LaMarr Woodley went down with a calf injury, he took over the starting spot and never relinquished it.

Due to free agency supply and demand at the outside linebacker position, the Steelers were virtually forced to transition tag Worilds and he immediately accepted the $9.7 million offer. Now the two sides are expected to work on a long-term extension later in training camp now that Woodley has been jettisoned.

Long-term deal or not, Worilds must show in 2014 that he can improve on his 2013 numbers and he must thoroughly dominate the right side animals that he faces as if he were Marlin Perkins in an episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

As far as the left side animals go, second-year outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has yet to prove that he can handle them and that too is a must if the Steelers defense expects to improve in 2014.

  • srdan

    Does the bear poop in the woods

  • Addison

    I would not be surprised at all if this is a $10 test/proving year for him. If he explodes hit him with a franchise tag and work out an extension next year. Should have a load of cap space with Ike, Troy or Heath cut maybe.

  • Steelers12328882

    I read a couple articles today about the Steelers looking at former Bills LB Arthur Moats. College DE that played ILB and OLB for the Bills. Looks like a big dude. Guess he is famous for ending Favre’s consecutive starts streak.

  • Steve

    With all the money Worlds is being paid, it’s either put up or shut up!

  • pat

    Dont see none of them 3 being cut all 3 will retire a Steeler this yr offseason has proved that. Ike will retire after this season as for Troy maybe 2 yrs left and Heath has about 4 yrs left.

  • Addison

    Yeah retire is a better word. Just mean somehow there will be more cap room maybe


    Do Volvo owners wear their seat belts?

  • SFIC

    DUH !!!!!

  • CrazyTerry

    Jettison Heath already? Sure, he has declined as a blocker and last year, he wasn’t as surehanded. But he was coming off an injury and he is still better than any TE options the Steelres have. Ike should have been gone last year itself. As far as Troy, I wish they got him to take a bigger paycut and then I could have lived with him for 2-3 more years.

  • CrazyTerry

    Wow,10M for a guy who can only play the weakside at a high level and is injury prone to boot. It’s pitiful that we have spent two mid first rounders, two second rounders and a few third roudners on LBs in recent years, and we still have only one proven top level player in Timmons at the 4 LB spots next year. So we have to overpay for the only good option left in Wordlis.

  • Pete Johnson

    But no you have it all wrong..we were “forced” to put the tag on him due to supply and demand at the position, it had nothing to do with the numerous failures of this front office. Just more “bad luck” I guess.

  • NW86

    This seems like sarcasm but I’m not sure what you are actually trying to say. Are you saying that they should have let him hit the market? We saw how well that worked out with Hood, Woods, and Cotchery getting surprisingly good money despite being much less highly regarded players. Or are you saying they should have locked up Worilds to an early extension last season, when he had showed nothing on the field except an ability to get injured?

  • Addison

    I can’t see the future. I never thought we would have Worilds this year. Point is I don’t think they need to rush this Worilds contract. 8 million from Woodly plus they could have a few million left in contract extension/restructure in their back pocket. Maybe carry that over to next year.

  • steeltown

    I think a tandem of Jarvis Jones and James Harrison on the right side would be nice

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I agree with most of this except about how you feel about troy he had a real good not great by what we used to see from #43 but still 5 ff and i think one or two ints fans dont care about superman saving a damsel in distress if he was clark kent

  • steeltown

    I think they saw the influx in cap this year and projected that someone would easily offer him atleast $8MIL per on the open market, so they made the move

  • pat

    Yea I think the biggest cap room moves will be getting Ben an extension and getting Worilds under contract i think we don’t get either done this yr and end up franchise tagging Worilds next yr to work on a contract

  • Pete Johnson

    They should have let him test free agency and then matched whatever offers were out there. Have you seen the contracts given out this offseason? They are terrible, weak on guarantees and heavy on funny money on the back ends (even more so than usual) . Rats got a franchise LT for 5/37 after letting him go free, no one was paying Worilds 10m a year or even close. That is why he drove to the complex the first second he could to sign that tender.

    It was a miscalculation of the market, his agent knew that money was not out there and told him to sign it immediately. The market has actually regressed, not gone up even with the news of cap increases in the future. We could have gotten Worilds back at a 3.5m cap number this year on a long term deal, instead he is drowning this team with a 9.75m number. Now he will probably just play out 2014, so we get to give him yet another huge guarantee on top of the 10m we will pay him this year.

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Why the animal Coaching (in Tomlin’s own words) took so long to recognize that?, if since Worilds came to the NFL that was known for everybody!

  • Rob Dove

    When they leave they will need to be replaced. Cap savings is many times somewhat elusive as their replacements if of comparable quality will likely have comparable salaries. There is a large amount of dead money eating up cap space this year and next and the cap takes a big jump next year as well. Likely 2 more seasons of cap issues with dead money and then we should be doing better.