Arthur Moats Waiting In The Wings

According to free agent newcomer Arthur Moats, one of the reasons that he chose to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this offseason was because he believed he had the opportunity to compete for a starting job.

As it stands now, the Steelers are surely hoping that they won’t need him to do so, because that would mean at a minimum that either somebody is injured or one of their two young, high-pedigreed draftees over the last two seasons is underperforming.

But just in case such an event arises, Moats should be ready.

It probably wouldn’t be advisable to bet that Moats will unseat Jarvis Jones or Ryan Shazier in the starting lineup, or even that he would necessarily be the first one called up to fill in as a substitute, but knowing that he is there in the background is a comfort.

Though he is new to the team, he is not new to playing in the NFL, nor playing as a starter. Nor is he new to moving around to different positions.

He is even well versed in learning new systems, having gone through three different defensive coordinators during his four seasons spent with the Buffalo Bills.

During OTAs and minicamp, Moats got plenty of experience working with the first-team defense because of the fact that starting left side outside linebacker Jason Worilds was sitting practices out with an undisclosed tweak of some sort.

Because of the immense amount of depth that the Steelers currently seem to have at inside linebacker, that is where Moats will likely remain this season.

There is the possibility that, because of his versatility, however, he could put himself in a position where he will be a game day active and be asked to fill in at one of the inside linebacker spots.

Vince Williams remember, is somewhat limited in terms of his role. He was strictly the buck linebacker last season, and also came off the field frequently in obvious passing situations.

He was not on the active roster during the first game of the season because he was not a special teams contributor.

As far as I know, he hasn’t necessarily made leaps and bounds in terms of his special teams contributions over the summer. Now that he’s not being counted upon to be a starter, it’s possible that he finds himself as a game day inactive.

Moats, meanwhile, has evidently been performing well on special teams, and seems virtually assured of getting a helmet on Sundays.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Kenneth Wilt

    If Williams finds himself unable to prove himself on special teams, he may go from last year’s starter to cut this year. We added 3 ILBs and lost 1 since last year. He needs to earn his spot. Just to summarize…OUT = Foote, IN = Shazier, Zumwalt, Spence

  • John21

    The LB corp is the most intriguing story of camp–as it should be in a Steelers camp! The competition will be fun to watch. Moats is important insurance and a valuable ST player. VW may be limited but he is a baller who should benefit from last year’s baptism by fire. The Big Nickel concept makes it even more interesting with highly athletic guys like Spence & Garvin–both are deserved of support & kudos for their journey & their skill. OLB is still a critical ? Let’s hope Moats can push Jones & Worilds to step up. If not look for #92 to make a late camp appearance! (DBryan would love it!)

  • steeltown

    Man if V.Williams is inactive on any game days it would really show the depth we have inside. I personally don’t see that happening, we have quite a few MAC guys, Shazier, Spence, Garvin and of course Timmons, but I think VW might be the best BUCK LB we have (not named Timmons)

  • CW

    With the weird injury history Worilds has, Moats could very well end up getting a shot to be a starter at OLB for several games. Who knows he might even be able to win the job outright with the way Worilds gets injured.

    Hoping for the best with Vince Williams.

  • dgh57

    I hope Moats pans out at OLB or at least enough to keep Carter from being the first guy up should a injury occur!

  • Matt Manzo

    I hope Zumwalt makes it! But guys like Moats and Garvin will make it hard!

  • Kenneth Wilt

    LB competition is going to be insane this year….

    Carter, Garvin, H. Jones, J. Jones, Moats, Shazier, So’oto, Spence, Timmons, Williams, Wilson, Worilds, and Zumwalt.

    The only LB I see on the roster who doesn’t have a shot is Molls, but that still leaves 13 guys by my count. With only 8 or 9 spots as options…..that is as many as 5 guys from the list above who WON’T make the team.

  • wdhammer

    look for Zum on the practice squad