Steelers Thin At Outside Linebacker Following Saturday Cuts

The Pittsburgh Steelers trimmed down their roster Saturday to the league-mandated 53 players, but in doing so, they have left themselves mighty thin at that outside linebacker position.

Not only did the team cut former fifth-round draft pick Chris Carter on Saturday, they also waived undrafted free agent Howard Jones, the player he was supposedly battling for a roster spot.

As it currently stands, Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones and Arthur Moats are the only true outside linebackers currently on the Steelers 53 man roster. While second-year linebacker Terence Garvin is considered to be a player that can play both inside and outside, he wasn’t afforded the opportunity to the play the latter of the two positions during the preseason.

The Steelers still could claim another outside linebacker off of waivers during the next 24 hours, so we’ll have to see if that winds up being their course of action. John Simon, who was waived by the Baltimore Ravens and Shaquil Barrett, who was waived by the Denver Broncos, are two young players that jump out quickly at you when you look at the list of transactions from Saturday.

Simon, who visited Pittsburgh prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, is an Ohio State product, while Barrett, who played for defensive assistant Joey Porter at Colorado State, considered signing with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent back in May.

  • Matthew Suloman

    Simon and/or Barrett are worth a look…

  • Carlos

    Barrett was Peezy’s boy in Colorado wasn’t he?

  • Superdriller316

    Seems like some other teams cut 4th rounders. Why can’t we? L. Jones?


    Hmm, isn’t this James Harrison’s position? Very interesting. Maybe his retirement is a little premature.

  • keth Naab

    let’s be real. The Steelers were thin at OLB *BEFORE* the cuts

  • Jacque Strappe


  • Douglas Andrews

    Agree that’s what makes letting go of C Carter a little surprising unless like the article says they have their eye on another teams OLB cuts

  • Douglas Andrews

    Hopefully we sign Barrett and get L Jones over to the practice squad

  • DoctorNoah

    Yep. Makes you wonder what is going through the collective defensive minds of Butler, LeBeau and Tomlin: I doubt they’re holding a candle out for Newly retired Deebo not claiming someone else’s trash off waivers as there’s no way someone could come in and be expected to learn the LeBeau playbook as a new sign.

    Are they thinking this is another first round draft pick next year (and aren’t CB and LT needs more pressing?) and we just deal with less performance? Do they think Worilds breaks out and JJ finally earns his draft pick? Or is there a plan to really use LB’s in a more nuanced and hybridized way that we still haven’t quite seen? Do they think our D-line is strong enough to really collapse the pocket?

    This, after four weeks of fairly bland preseason football, is a total mystery, to me at least

  • Milliken Steeler

    Holy crap! The Redskins cut Lache Seastrunk? Sign him up.

  • Milliken Steeler

    oops. I realize its an OLB thread but I just read that about Seastrunk and my fingers became possessed. lol

  • Josh Knepshield

    Victor Butler!!! The steelers wanted him before the saints signed him.

  • Melly

    We have as many QBs on the roster, as we have OLBs! Cracks me up. I’d rather have C.Carter vs L.Jones…and I wanted Carter off the 53!!!!!!

  • Labrat0116


    Bring back Silverback !

    Bring back Silverback !

    Bring back Silverback !

  • steeltown

    Actually this is interesting, I would be happy to claim a player like Simon and/or Barrett, and HoJo will make the PS

  • Zumwalt Fan Club

    I love Simon.. id love to have him.

  • BFB

    Harrison retired! Officially! Let it go. Joey Porter is not coming back. Greg Lloyd is not coming back. Kevin Greene is not coming back. Jason Gildon is not coming back.
    Now what do all 4 of these guys have in common with James Harrison?

  • Matt Manzo

    I say sign him too!!!

  • William Weaver

    Right. They were 3 deep and just admitted that with the cuts. We all knew 3 deep.

  • Leon Mcnair

    Timmons also can play OLB people forgot

  • Dennis

    all you morons quit whining????
    Harrison is done and he isn’t playing ST.
    They have the 8 best LBs that were invited to camp. if there are injuries Timmons is moving to OLB after Moats and Spence can play ILB.

  • Leon Mcnair

    How many rookies u know came in on Pitt defense and dominated you guys giving up on jones after year 2 , it took deebo forever to learn and kiesal too even Troy wasn’t dominate his rookie year

  • Jacque Strappe

    First, only a moron would place multiple question marks at the end of an exclamatory sentence, so easy on the name calling.
    Second, I agree with the rest of your post.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I do like Simon and Barrett but neither are roster ready but I agree with the post. If we are in dire need we have guys that can play OLB in a pinch.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Timmons can be a body at OLB. Playing OLB with any proficiency is another story. He’s played there before for the better part of a season, and I don’t care to see it again.

  • What about Ham? You didn’t mention Ham. Would he sign for the vet minimum?

  • +1! Swap Zac Dysert for Landry Jones, Lache Seastrunk for Justin Brown (send Brown to the practice squad), any decent OT for Mike Adams, and the best CB available who’s an upgrade over Blake or McCain…and I’m ready for football!

  • treeher

    Question is, would Simon or Barrett be an upgrade over what we already had in camp? Are we trying to build a playoff team with other teams’ castoffs?

  • SteelersDepot

    He can play it, but he can’t play it well.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    He can play it better than Chris Carter. I think that fact made Carter expendable.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    James Harrison’s retirement is easily understandable. No team thought he was worth signing.

  • steeltown

    Cant be any worse than Carter, lets be honest

  • JohnB

    Joey Porter is coming back.

  • treeher

    That’s a fact, Jack.

  • Louis Goetz

    The great James Harrison was cut multiple times before he finally developed into one of the top 5 LBs in Steelers’ history. So, of course, everyone should just expect Jarvis Jones to simply pick right up where Deebo left off, as if playing OLB for the Steelers is so easy. Obviously, since Mr. Jones didn’t register double digit sacks during his rookie campaign he must be a complete bust, right? No wonder there are so many things that are a total mystery, to DoctorNoah, at least.

  • CW

    Well the Steelers had both of them to Pittsburgh either last year or this year prior to the draft for a visit with the team so the Steelers at least had an interest in both players.

    It’s not so much that they are trying to build a team from other team’s castoffs. However there is an obvious hole in the Steelers depth chart at 4th OLB even with Garvin able to sub in for either an ILB or an OLB. Adding to the depth chart with a couple of young players who might improve could help over the long term.

    The Steelers already have their starters unless they seriously pursue Eric Winston or one of the other quality vets that got cut. It’s the bubble players now that are the issue. Some of the guys the Steelers have on the roster probably could be replaced with better free agents after the cut.

    There are at least four bubble players that could be replaced prior to the start of the season. Landry Jones, Chris Hubbard, Brice McCain (depending on his injury), and Mike Palmer are all borderline players at best. So is Will Allen, but I doubt Tomlin will cut him. Cutting one or two of them and replacing them with other teams’ roster cuts in areas where the Steelers are thin or have weaknesses with the current backup should be a priority.

  • Louis Goetz

    Find me one team in the history of the NFL who built a successful team OFF OF THE WAIVER WIRE. You do realize that you just advocated for the Steelers to pick up no less than four players who weren’t even considered to be one of the top 53 players on the team they were just cut from, right? What are you angling for, the #1 overall pick? You’re certainly ready for something my friend; it’s called a straight jacket.

  • Louis Goetz

    I don’t now how much Eric Winston would help the Steelers. He signed a seven-figure contract with the Seahwaks to compete for the starting RT job. When he lost that battle to their 2rd round pick from last season, he was cut. Understandably, the Seahawks weren’t paying in excess of a million dollars to a back-up RT. So, what would he do for the Steelers? He’s not going to replace Beachum at LT and he’s not going to replace Gilbert at RT, and just like the ‘Hawks, the Steelers aren’t paying him $1M+ to back up either position.

  • Louis Goetz

    Kevin Greene is white. So I don’t now what you’re getting at.

  • keth Naab

    #1 James Harrison was a UDFA. Keisel was a 6th rounder. Jarvis Jones was a 1st rounder that we sprinted to the podium to draft

    #2 Troy had more sacks as a rookie than Jarvis Jones.

    Just sayin…

  • keth Naab

    “Obviously since Mr. Jones didn’t register double digit sacks…”

    and what relevance does that have? Double digit? Dude had 1 (one) sack in 600 snaps. There were 22 defensive backs with MORE sacks than Jones had.

    Don’t exaggerate things by criticizing fans for getting impatient because he “didn’t get double digit sacks”.

    One. (1)

  • mokhkw

    I doubt the Steelers will sign a rookie LB to be a back-up for this season.

    With 2 weeks till kick-off how are they expected to learn LeBeau’s D when most rookies take a year? At best they will take until mid-season before they could contribute.

    On paper it may seem feasible but in reality it’s a laughable idea given what we know about the Steelers and rookies.

    Practice Squad is more likely than back-up OLB for Simon or Barrett. Would love to get Simon tbh.

    If a back-up OLB is signed – and I don’t think they will sign one – it would have to be a vet who has played in a similar system or an ex-Steeler who already knows it.

    Only name I can think of that fits that description is Adrian Robinson who was released by the Redskins last week.

    What I think we will see is the Steelers getting their best players on the field, regardless of what position you call them. We’ve already seen ILBs rushing from the edge and OLBs lining up in front of the Guard.

    I expect the plan is to make all the LBers capable of lining up anywhere. Maybe our ideas of what an ILB or an OLB does in LeBeau’s D need to change – if you have a 4.3 ILB like Shazier why wouldn’t you want to rush him from an edge sometimes?

  • CW

    I didn’t mean that the Steelers should sign Winston. I was using him as a recognizable veteran roster cut name at a position, offensive line, that the Steelers are considered to have backup needs at.

  • Still_JPDQ

    Ah-ha-ha-ha… beat me to it.

    I can’t imagine the Steelers’ preferred plan is to move Timmons (or any other ILB) to OLB. If that were the case, you’d think they would have gotten a lot of reps there before now. I’m really not sure what the Steelers are thinking in terms of their OLB situation, but it isn’t good, regardless.

  • LOL! Sigh.

  • Hawkeye

    Washington cut outside linebacker reserve Rob Jackson a few days ago. He could be worth a look. He had 4.5 sacks in place of an injured Orakpo a few seasons ago.

  • whisn

    I’m big on Garvin and so obviously are the Steelers, Jarvis Jones is under pressure to deliver, he did that on Thursday, but what is he going to bring come the regular season? I have faith in Jason, odds are one back-up may see action at some point during the season, be that Garvin or Moats that’s not too shabby.

  • CrazyTerry

    Chris Carter’s cut is the best news of the preseason . They would have been thing at OLB even if they kept him. I would rather see them move Timmons temporarily to OLB if that’s what’s needed.
    The bad news is that Steelers scouts no longer have the luxury of the 3-4 advantage in terms of recruiting undervalued players giving them good value in the draft. Now that the Steelers are on a level playing field with other teams for LBs, they have been embarrassing in terms of their inability to get good depth at that position.

  • BFB


  • BFB

    Him too! And Andy Russell!

  • BFB

    Almost forgot…Dobra Shunka!

  • BFB

    The way some folks on here clamor for James Harrison maybe we should see if Dirt Winston wants to come back!… 🙂

  • Louis Goetz

    It’s not that bad. Take a look at the Steelers’ schedule this season and then please step back from the ledge.