New Steelers LB Arthur Moats Still Getting First-Team Reps Ahead Of Chris Carter

How far out of favor with the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff has fourth-year outside linebacker Chris Carter fallen?

It appears far enough that new linebacker Arthur Moats is continuing to get reps with the first-team defense at the left outside linebacker spot with starter Jason Worilds still on the sidelines nursing a calf injury, according to a Wednesday report by Scott Brown of

This news is, of course, two-fold as it could mean that the team is really happy with how fast Moats is picking things up. Remember, Moats spent most of his time playing inside during his four seasons with the Buffalo Bills after playing defensive end in college at James Madison.

Still, one would hope that it would’ve taken Moats at least a little time to overtake Carter on the depth chart.

Carter just hasn’t ever been able to put it all together since being drafted by the Steelers in the fifth-round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Fresno State. In his first three seasons with the Steelers, Carter has played a total of 235 snaps on defense during which he has recorded all of 16 total tackles and zero sacks.

In 2012, Carter started the first three games of the regular season due to James Harrison and Worilds both being slowed by injuries, but he failed to show that he was up for that test. As a result, he only played one more defensive snap the rest of the season and it was a kneel down play to close out the win over the Washington Redskins.

The Steelers depth at the outside linebacker position certainly doesn’t sound too encouraging right now. In addition, both Worilds and fellow starter Jarvis Jones aren’t going to be confused as proven commodities just yet. Hopefully, both can stay healthy in 2014.

  • Ike Evans

    god…we need more OLBs

  • Jason Brant

    I don’t see this as a negative. We’ve signed someone who is obviously better than what we had, depth wise.

    Maybe it won’t be as catastrophic as we’d thought when Worilds inevitably gets hurt.

  • chris ward

    This OLB depth makes me nervous, hope Worilds and Jones can stay Healthy.

  • ApexSteel

    Moats has 5 career sacks. If Worilds gets hurt we’re losing our best pass rusher for someone who’s career production isn’t close to our starter’s season production. That would be catastrophic.

  • Jeff

    Gosh it’d be nice to have some type of quality depth at OLB…. This just came me… Has anyone entertained the idea of bringing back James Harrison?

  • Jason Brant

    As catastrophic as Carter in there?

    And we better prepare mentally for Moats to be on the field – it’s going to happen. Worilds is a bastion of injuries.

  • falconsaftey43

    Any word on how Howard Jones has looked or where he is in the lineup right now? From a physical standpoint he has 1st round ability, but definitely needs to learn to play the game.

  • ApexSteel

    Better than awful still isn’t good. Carter playing is like our defense being stabbed and shot. Moats playing would only spare us the gun.

  • Jonas

    You should ask Jim Wexell, gives quick answers!

  • Jason Brant

    Which is why I said “won’t be as catastrophic”. I didn’t say Moats was a dominant force.

    It’s not ideal, don’t get me wrong, but it’s an upgrade nonetheless.

  • Bill

    So, Worilds not only replaced Woodley on the field but also on the sideline with calf injuries?

  • walter mason

    I cant imagine ever since the 70s a Steeler team without great OLBs but we may see one this year if Worilds is hurt.. It would be catastropic if they dont sign Harrison.

  • Donny Simmons

    Where is Harrison?? I like Howard Jones but not this year. He needs to make it on teams and learn.

  • Matt Manzo

    Just wait for Zumwalt! He’s gonna show up like He-Man!!!!
    (I don’t think it’s gonna happen, I’m just hoping it does)

  • afrazier9

    you almost have to sign debo

  • afrazier9

    i am lost some times with are train of thought why would we get so many inside line backers, and not address the out side like we all know worilds is prone to injure we need debo like yesterday

  • joed32

    Just about everyone has talked about it. If they need to I think they will. They want to look at Moats, Zumwalt, etc. Howard Jones????

  • Arthur Branch

    Call me crazy but with the inside backer depth I see Timmons as the first backup at that position. I know he was not great the first time around, but he is much stronger and bigger than he was the last time he played outside. He was not a sack machine but he was serviceable. When Zumwalt gets to camp I see them moving him outside.

  • Jeff

    Lol I know, I was being sarcastic… I’m 100% for bringing him back I’ve been vocal about it the last few months

  • BigSnack

    i like moats A LOT. this kid could turn out to be a solid back up, swing LB

  • treeher

    Coaches know what Carter can/can’t do. They want to see what the new guy can/can’t do. No more than that.

  • cencalsteeler

    Wow! The stats on Carter are pretty grim.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I could see a James Harrison a.k.a. Silverback sighting in the future. C Carter has given us next to nothing as far as depth. At least if they sign Harrison it would buy us another year to draft a younger OLB for depth.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I thought it was CB’s that we needed? No seriously, I was thinking we had to draft one in round 2 or so. Been saying this for ages. Well, hopefully something works out here.

  • falconsaftey43

    Like everyone else I was worried about our OLB depth. I went back and looked up who our back ups were going back to 2000. Then I charted how many years experience and career sacks the backups combined for to get an idea of how proven these players were. Chart below has starter and backup sacks/year exp. going into the season. 6th column is the total team sacks achieved in that year followed by the players with the first 2 being the starters.

    Backups are actually the most experienced this year. This year has the 3rd most sacks as well. Easy to see they’ve never really had proven quality backups. The last time they entered a season with the starters having fewer career sacks was 2008 when in Harrisons 2nd year as starter and Woodley’s first.

    other notes. this is the longest streak of under 40 team sacks over the last 14 years. It’s easy to see that after team sacks dipped down, the starters were replaced shortly after.

    year, Starter Sacks, Starter Exp, Backup Sacks, Backup Exp, Team Sacks, Players
    2014, 19, 5, 5, 7 ?? Worild Jones Carter Moats
    2013, 62, 9, 0, 2, 34 woodley, worilds, jones, carter
    2012, 106, 14, 5, 3, 37 woodley, harrison, worilds, carter
    2011, 88, 12, 2, 2, 35 woodley, harrison, worilds, carter, stevensen
    2010, 67.5, 10, 0, 2, 48 woodley, harrison, worilds, gibson, bailey
    2009, 44, 8, 2, 5, 47 woodley, harrison, bailey, frazier
    2008, 16.5, 6, 1, 3, 51 woodley, harrison, bailey, davis, frazier
    2007, 32.5, 11, 1, 4, 36 harrison, haggans, woodley, A.harrison, frazier
    2006, 75.5, 13, 4, 4, 39 porter, haggans, r.wallace, J.harrison
    2005, 56, 11, 1, 2, 47 porter, haggans, r.wallace, J.harrison, A.harrison
    2004, 43, 9, 0, 3, 41 porter, haggans, J.harrison, Alonzo jackson
    2003, 101.5, 13, 6.5, 4, 35 gildon, porter, haggans, alonzo jackson
    2002, 83.5, 11, 0, 2, 50 gildon, porter, haggans, j harrison
    2001, 62.5, 9, 0, 1, 55 gildon, porter, haggans,
    2000, 38.5, 7, 6, 3, 39 gildon, porter, haggans, vrabel

  • Mike Cardwell

    There are 14 LB’s on the Roster with Timmons as the elder statesman as of now if you can believe that (8 years). Only 2 are over 6’3″ and 9 of which are under 25. This is going to a very young crop of defensive players trying out for usually what 8 spots? It will be interesting to see who dresses opening week. I don’t know how good J Jones will ever be and Worilds is trying to get an extension. Good luck with that if one of the younger guys plays really well.

  • walter mason

    Thats a lot to hope for.

  • walter mason

    Its hard to believe that anyone would be against it. We have no depth at the position and the starters are suspect. I hope Harrison doesnt sign with another team.

  • walter mason

    Carter and Moats, we should get a ton of sacks.

  • stellarsfan

    Shot in the dark but would the steelers consider kicking the tires on Morgan breslin? Had 12 sacks at USC in 2012 and injury ruined his 2013 season.

  • steeltown

    Wow… this speaks volume to Carters ability. Nothing against Moats, I like Moats, but he has no reason starting ahead of Carter THIS EARLY ON…

  • Moats may actually turn out to be a decent OLB. He was never really suited for ILB, where he played in Buffalo, and as with Ziggy and the Steelers, that may have been a case of square peg / round hole. He may still be a liability in coverage, but it would be great if he emerged as a competent backup and spot starter on the outside.

  • Steel PAul

    Ummm, Joey Porter, player/coach?? lol