So far through two preseason games, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds has yet to really light the world on fire. While he hasn’t particularly played poorly by any means, he has yet to offer much beyond the intentional grounding call that should have been a sack.
He hasn’t exactly picked up where he left off a year ago, which inspired the front office to put the transition tag on him this year, paying him nearly $10 million to play in 2014 and discouraging talks of a contract extension.
In the last preseason game, Worilds did show brief flashes here and there in both the running game and the passing game, but there were also some missteps.
This mid-first quarter play was one of his better showings on the night. On first down to begin Buffalo’s second possession, the Bills tried to block Worilds with tight end Scott Chandler, but the linebacker wasn’t having it. Worilds used his speed to gain the inside shoulder and, even while getting an armbar from the tight end, still made the tackle on C.J. Spiller along with Cam Thomas after a two-yard carry.
Later on the drive, Worilds used his speed again to dip inside right tackle Erik Pears. The penetration forced E.J. Manuel to rush his throw on a screen to running back Fred Jackson. The only problem was that the play didn’t have enough time to develop. Cameron Heyward was right there to make the tackle for a five-yard loss.
For most of the night, Worilds struggled against Pears when it came to rushing the passer, however. He didn’t have a good night overall as a pass rusher, but he did put together two consecutive plays early in the second quarter.
On first down, Worilds gave tight end Lee Smith the false inside step before moving outside, swatting the tight end’s hands away for a nearly clear path to the quarterback until Jackson picked him up, whom Worilds nearly drove right into Manuel.
On second and 10, Worilds made quick work of fullback Frank Summers in pass protection, who was left on his own to block the outside linebacker in the hopes that the play action would slow him down. Summers attempted a cut block, but Worilds easily slipped around it, kept his feet, and showed great pursuit to the quarterback, bringing him down for what should have been a sack, had he not thrown the ball for an intentional grounding.
The only other play of much significance on the night for Worilds is this juke from the running back Jackson that got the best of the fifth-year linebacker. He also victimized Lawrence Timmons on the same play, but most of the running he did after evading these tackles was laterally.