The Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff loves players that have position flexibility and that certainly defines new linebacker Arthur Moats, who was signed a few weeks ago as an unrestricted free agent after playing his first four seasons in the league with the Buffalo Bills. On Thursday, Moats said in an interview on ESPN 970 that he’s already been told where he will fit in with the Steelers position-wise, initially.
“After talking with (Mike) Tomlin, I’m definitely going to get my opportunity initially at outside linebacker and for me, I’m definitely a lot more comfortable there being as that was what I was playing all my life, as for as rushing the passer and stuff like that,” said Moats.
“But also, I’ll have the opportunity going into training camp, if I’m mentally capable and stuff like that, I’ll also be able to play inside as well. So I’m excited about having an opportunity to show my versatility and also be able to contribute wherever I’m needed here.”
It certainly makes sense that Moats will first be given the opportunity to play outside linebacker with the Steelers being as he was a pass rushing defensive end that occasionally dropped into coverage in college. In addition, that’s really where the Steelers lack a lot of depth right now following the March release of linebacker LaMarr Woodley.
Moats, however, did play a lot of inside linebacker during his time with the Bills and despite him having to go through quite a few scheme changes there since he was drafted, he should have a pretty good overall grasp of the position in the 3-4 scheme. More than anything, he doesn’t sound like he’s too worried about having to learn all four linebacker spots on the Steelers defense.
“Well, for me, being as I’ve played 3-4 two or three years out of my career now and I’ve played at both inside spots and both outside spots, I feel like the continuity will definitely help me as far as the carry over,” said Moats. “I definitely have to get adjusted to the terminology and stuff like that, but for me, I feel like I’m a guy who dedicates himself to the game, who dedicates himself mentally as well as physically. So I feel like once I get my hands on the playbook and things like that, I’m sure I’ll be able to come up and be confident in both positions.”
Had Moats re-signed with the Bills, he would have played for a fourth different defensive coordinator in as many years and that certainly doesn’t define stability, which is why he jumped at the chance to come to Pittsburgh.
“I was looking for stability and I wanted to go somewhere where they were already proven and had that type of success already,” said Moats.