Steelers LB Vince Williams Has Studied Every Play From 2013 In An Effort To Improve

Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Vince Williams was thrust into a starting role last season as a rookie after starter Larry Foote went down in the season opener. While he initially got off to a rocky start, the Florida State product improved as the season progressed. That improvement, however, was not enough to prevent the Steelers from spending a first round pick in May on another inside linebacker.

“I’m not really disappointed because I understand there will always be competition here,” Williams said, according to a report by Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Whether it was going to be [Sean] Spence coming back or even [Larry] Foote coming back before he got cut. I always knew there would be competition.”

Currently, Williams is getting snaps with the second-team defense alongside Sean Spence as the aforementioned first-round draft pick, Ryan Shazier, is running alongside Lawrence Timmons on the Steelers first-team. That’s likely how things will stay the rest of the summer.

Williams reportedly has gone back and watched every play he was in on from the 2013 season in an effort to improve in 2014 and he feels the experience he received as a rookie will greatly benefit him heading into his second season.

“It was great,” Williams said. “I could feel it getting better gradually. It gave me a big boost coming into this year. Now I’ve been out there. I’ve had the feel against real NFL competition, so I feel like a lot of things are slowing down now.”

The Steelers inside linebacker position figures to be much deeper than it was last year and it’s hard seeing Williams not make the final 53 man roster. Instead, he should be the primary backup to Timmons at the buck position and big special teams contributor. That’s not bad for a sixth-round pick that several thought might not make the roster last season.

  • Matt Manzo

    I was feeling sorry for him after we drafted Shazier, but really he’s only behind Timmons and he’s still young. There’s still a place for him on this team!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I kind of felt the same way. He came in and did the best he could. And IMO he performed admirably for a 6th round rookie.

    I’m sure he had hopes of starting this year as well. But drafting Shazier sent a pretty strong message as to the Steelers plans going forward.

    It’s situations like these where you find out who is a “team player” and who is a “pouter”. Hopefully Williams is the former. It sounds like he is.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Great points both you and MM. If Spence can show his recovery is complete having both him and Vince as backups is very indicative of the solid depth we can have at the ILB position. There seems to quite a few very athletic, cerebral, high character guys on this defense.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I’m not writing off Vince and very happy with his uneven play as a rookie in that position. Even though its a different position, his play makes me wonder more and more why Chris Carter in on this team. Hmmmmm.

    The problem Vince has is two fold and not sure he can change any of them. One is speed which he doesn’t have compared to the other guys. The other one is related and that’s his coverage skills. He can get better there but will it be enough to overtake one of these guy. Highly unlikely if those guys stay healthy.

    I like the kid and hope he’s able to be not great at one thing (which is the run for now) but to be very good in all things. I’m rooting for him.

  • Zach

    agreed — he’s a depth ILB which will be able to start when needed (and he will have to). great pick at round 6.

  • Ike Evans

    Thats right VW grind it out

  • walter mason

    Carter is on the team because we dont have any depth at OLB.


    I think Williams can have a long career as a non-starter.

  • shawn

    Yup … I think he is another valuable depth player … and we all know how much we need good depth especially after the last several injury plagued seasons …

    One thing that I think the NFL has to change soon is the amount of roster positions … due to the seemingly increased amount of injuries league wide and the emphasis on a team having enough good back ups to compete during the long NFL season there really needs to be a handful more players available to a Team say something like a change from 53 to 58 and of course the added amount needed to the salary cap for the added slots !

  • nicolaisim

    There can only be 11 players on the field – so if he’s a good reliable backup to Lawrence Timmons for years to come, then we got great value for a sixth-round pick. Really like this guy!

  • Brendon Glad

    I hope that’s not rare. One would think all players would watch every snap they played about 5-10 times apiece. I mean the video coordinator could cut together a file and it should take like one afternoon to watch it 5-10 times. But i’m glad he did, nonetheless. It just shouldn’t be worth a headline if all the players were serious about getting better.

  • PA2AK

    Solid point on the depth at ILB. How quickly did that change?!

  • IckyD

    Frankly i thought he earned the right to have the starting job until/unless he lost it, but it is still very, very early in the year.

    Besides- a competent and reliable rotation at ILB is a rare and valuable asset to have!

  • IckyD

    I think Vince will get plenty of playing time this year- no such thing as too many capable 3-4 LBers…

  • IckyD

    I still think they ought to pick up Silverback if he’s healthy and will play cheap. He’d be a great asset as a pure pass-rush OLB…

  • IckyD

    With the increased amount of passing in the game adding to the possibility of injury i think a 58 man roster would add a lot to the game..

  • IckyD

    There have been players who had long, illustrious careers as backups- look at Chris Hoke: he’d have been an All-{Pro on any other team but notched himself out a fine, long career with a few SBs and a couple rings as Casey’s “backup”[though Hoke played as many snaps as Hampton when it was all said and done].

    If Vince can hone his craft and gradually improve he can easily be the Hokie of the LBer corps!

  • SfSteeler

    just out of OTAs we look soo thick @ ILB…so wats our first pick next year, OLB or CB?

  • steeltown

    VW and Spence as primary backups inside is pretty awesome. Just the fact that our backup BUCK (Williams) has starting experience in this Defense is great!

  • steeltown

    Solid depth