Report: Steelers LB Arthur Moats Looks Like A Natural Pass Rusher

The Pittsburgh Steelers have only completed three training camp practices so far, but it’s clear that newcomer outside linebacker Arthur Moats is being counted on to be the primary backup to starters Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones.

Moats, who was signed during the offseason as an unrestricted free agent after playing his first four years in the league with the Buffalo Bills, worked as the starting left outside linebacker during most of the OTA practices when Worilds was sidelined with an injury. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the James Madison product remains the primary backup with three days of practices now in the books.

While Moats was an undersized pass rushing defensive end in college, we’ve yet to really see whether or not he can make it as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. That’s because the Bills very rarely used him in that capacity over the course of the last several years during all of the scheme changes that they went through.

Following Monday’s first padded training camp practice, former Steelers offensive lineman and current radio network color man Tunch Ilkin made it known that Moats had a solid day of practice and why he thinks the newcomer will be able to transition to the outside linebacker position.

“The guy that jumped out to me today in all the drills was Arthur Moats,” said Ilkin. “And the reason is, when Arthur Moats was at Buffalo, he was a 4-3 stack linebacker, an outside linebacker – played off of the line of scrimmage. He never jumped out at me. As a 3-4 outside linebacker, he looks much more natural, much more at ease as a natural pass rusher, who does a great job of not only with an initial move, but a counter off of it.”

During his college career, Moats recorded 208 tackles and finished second in school history with 29 sacks in the 49 games that he played as a defensive lineman. He also added 48.5 tackles for loss. Heading into training camp, the Steelers have depth concerns at the outside linebacker position and the hope is that Moats can calm those fears. By the sound of things, he’s off to a great start in doing just that, but the big test will come once the preseason games get underway.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think the FO targeted guys this offseason who were younger FAs that they liked coming out of college, then their belief in them was supported in their NFL play. Mitchell and Blount I think fit that mold. Moats as well. Moats is probably MUCH more comfortable rushing the QB, and personally, I think he could be a sleeper. It may impact who else we keep at the LB position overall, because I think they really like Moats. Spence is the ILB backup…..Moats the OLB backup. The other 2 or 3 spots IMO will be the best special team players with potential. THIS is why I think Williams could be trouble as he is the LB most likely to fill only one role. He only excels against the run.

  • steeltown

    Good to hear these kinds of things, even if its early in the process. Moats will most likely see the field this season, at some point

  • Chad H

    This is great news. Need solid back ups and Carter is not it. Love the LB competition this year.

  • nikol kidman

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  • Aric Brown

    I dont get out of bed unless we’re talkin at least 90$/hr

  • Chad H

    No thanks I make $100,000/hr. Go to the Ravens site with your B.S.

  • Dom

    He’s a fierce special teamer though. I’d have to say I’m nearly sure Williams will stick but you make some good points

  • Aric Brown

    Great news, but I’d still like to have a D’Bo sized insurance policy

  • John Noh

    Wonderful to read. I got the skinny about Moats from a Bills fan who was sorry to see him go. “Underutilized” was the term he used in describing him, I think.

  • Ike Evans

    Well shit…..thats promising

  • Lil Smitty

    I realize that Williams is limited by his speed, but other than Timmons, no one else has called plays for the D. If Timmons gets hurt in a game that takes him out of the lineup. They need someone to come in and make the calls. I think Williams will stick for that reason alone. I also think he is decent linebacker. Not great or Probowl player, but a contributor.

  • Brendon Glad

    Hopefully he becomes another one of those classic under-the-radar FA signings, which in my opinion probably is Kevin Colbert’s single greatest skill.

  • MC

    Great news. This eliviates some of the anxiety i have for the OLB depth.

  • Maureen A Gomes

    Of all our free agent signings during this offseason, I believed that Arthur Moats would be the “sleeper”. It reminds me of James Farrior in that the Jets had him playing out of position and didn’t seem to know how to utilize him. The Steelers did. On the flip side of that, we see the Ziggy Hood situation. Best suited for a 4-3 scheme but the Steelers attempted to convert him and, unfortunately, it didn’t work. I watched Arthur Moats’ play with the Bills and it was painfully obvious to me that they weren’t putting his versatile talents to good use. Glad he’s a Steeler.

  • charles

    I wonder how much influence Porter had in this acquisition. Quietly hoping that Porter can revive 3-4 with deep LB talent.

  • HecklerSpray

    As a JMU grad, I was thrilled to have the former Buck Buchanan award winner coming to the Steelers. That being said – – lets hope that Worilds will be healthy enough and Jarvis good enough that we’re only seeing Moats for a handful of plays per game.

  • pittsburghjoe

    If he looks good, maybe we can extend his deal before the season on the cheap. We need quality depth…why not try? I’m not saying offer starter money.