Moats Showing No Fear Of Losing Job To Dupree

When the Pittsburgh Steelers made edge rusher Bud Dupree their first round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft this past spring, it could be said that the writing was on the wall for fellow outside linebacker Arthur Moats, who was viewed as the incumbent starter on the left side, filling the vacated shoes of Jason Worilds. In some ways, it could’ve been viewed as a slight to Moats, as first rounders aren’t drafted to sit the bench for very long. After all, what established NFL veteran wants to watch his replacement’s name flicker across the screen on draft day, then be looked upon as a veteran presence to help mentor them?

In OTA’s, Dupree was inserted on the left side, behind Moats. This type of situation could brew some hostility and ill-will but not according to Moats.

“It’s one of those things, we’re all about getting more talent, making the team better,” Moats said, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I feel if me and him are over there competing with each other, that’s only going to make the team that much better. Whichever one comes off the bench, that will be a starter-capable player, starter-level talent to make us that much better.”

This is exactly the attitude the front office wants to hear from Moats, who actually shot down an offer from the Atlanta Falcons this past offseason to re-sign with Pittsburgh. It’s not as if Moats is a slouch either, and he could turn into one of those classic “free agent gems” we’re always referring to by GM Kevin Colbert. He had 4 sacks last season in more-or-less a situational type of role and let’s not forget, he was a very productive pass rusher coming out of James Madison University.

Starting rookies at the OLB spot isn’t a theme of this team and the team actually had a similar situation in place several years ago whenever they had an established veteran starting in Clark Haggans, with rookie LaMarr Woodley coming in on third downs. Their plan with Dupree appears eerily similar, as they didn’t put such a high tag on drafting him to be the waterboy. However, much like the situation on the right side with 2013 first rounder Jarvis Jones and James Harrison, the competition appears to be stiff and the veterans aren’t laying down for anybody with their “come take my job from me” attitudes.

“I feel like the job’s mine until I’m told otherwise,” Moats said, according to Bouchette. “It’s all about what you put on tape. If you put bad stuff on tape, they’ll get you out of there.”

Now by no means is this a Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers-type of relationship between the two, as Moats is actually a fan of the rookie. He said unlike some rookies who come into camp with a cocky persona and big head, Dupree actually is a student of the game, always asking questions and looking for ways to improve.

Improve is vital for the Steelers’ defense if the team has deep playoff aspirations. At a position filled with pedigree from over the year’s, Moats certainly isn’t second guessing his decision to re-sign here.

“We knew this was where we wanted to be,” Moats said, according to Bouchette. “I love my teammates, love my coaching staff and this scheme fits me.”

  • Jake Marion

    There`s a bit of confusion in the 3rd paragraph before the end.
    Did you mean: “…Dupree is àctually a student of the game… “ ?

  • dano

    Hopefully the haggans/woodley comparisson does not result in Moats leaving next year too, though yeah Haggans was way older and Moats is on an uber cheap contract- at least by the high expectations I have of him! Cant wait to see him play on the left side

  • David M Remic

    I really don’t think we should expect stellar things from out OLB play this year. Things will be average, but we have a LONG way to go before we’re back to the Woodley / Harrison prime years.

    Give it 2-3 years and we’ll be there.4

  • Steve Johnson

    Moats signed an extension during the offseason. I don’t think he’s going anywhere anytime soon.

  • Big White

    Will have a great season and I see 8.5 sacks this season.

  • John Volpe

    Colbert and Steelers signed a real gem team player here I believe Moats is going to go down as a Steeler great someday

  • thomas hmmmm

    If you are waiting for another Harrison/Woodley combo then you will be waiting for a very long time.. The only other tandem that can even come close in comparison is Lloyd/Greene. Speaking of Lloyd/Greene this years defense is very similar to that 95 defense. Young players throughout the D with a veteran here and there. That year Greene only had 9 sacks, Lloyd had 6.5.. Ray Seals a DE had 8.5.. Those numbers could easily be mimicked my Heyward/Moats/JJ

  • Ask Questions Later

    Speaking of Dupree, read up he was requested by staff to drop to 260. I know this is not on topic, but I figured most of you would like to know.

  • John Volpe

    He signed I believe a three year extension this when free agency started this past year

  • David M Remic

    We had so many other stellar pieces in 95, that we’re lacking today.

    The young players we had were fairly established; Woodson, Lake, Perry, Steed, etc…

    We have entirely too many question marks to be a dominant defense this year.

    This DOESN’T mean we won’t surprise teams, and have some good defensive performances… but it DOES mean that we won’t be a top 10 team on D.

  • The GreekGeek

    I think we will be somewhere from ranked 6th to 16th… Above average D with increased turnovers along with a stellar O might be enough… worked for some other recent super bowl winners…GB, and NE for example

  • David M Remic

    I think 6 is a bit high, but I agree with everything else you’ve said…

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    I think you meant the 97′ defense. 95′ was more than better defense and they had more veterans and experience within the defense, however 97′ defense aren’t too bad, it’s more similar in terms of youth and unproven.

  • LucasY59

    I don’t think Moats should be Fearing losing his spot (it doesn’t help him concentrate on playing as well as he can if he is comparing himself to someone else) He is the Starter until Dupree EARNS the spot ahead of him, Moats is/should going to do what he can to play to the best of his abilities (and that should be good enough) Dupree is learning/transitioning to the NFL game when he is ready and playing well enough to start he will start, until then Moats will/should adequately fill the starting spot.

  • Steve

    Why not?

  • Steve

    This could be a top 10 D with all the talent acquired. Numerous positions are up for grabs and any time there is competition, it make the team better.

  • The GreekGeek

    6th is the scenario where all these guys hit their potential and no major injuries. I think it’s achievable but a lot has to go right

  • SixRings

    You don’t think Heyward, Tuitt, Timmons, Shazier, VW, Spence, etc. are pieces? If JJ finds his game, that front 7 could flat out terrorize offenses. They’re talented and deep with the potential to be great this year, not next. The key is obviously getting some pleasant surprises from the secondary because I have zero concerns about the rest of the D. We have more than enough pieces. In fact, we’re only about 2 pieces away from being special IMO. Yes, there’s a lot of youth at some positions, but that’s a positive not a negative. Young teams win SBs all the time, including the Steelers several times.

  • jsteeler

    Lucas, You got to do better Bro.
    In 2013, James Harrison was playing with Cincinnati. Your 4th paragraph has false information.
    Jarvis Jones was brought in to learn under ROLB,Jason Worilds. Woodley got hurt on the LOLB spot and Worilds moved to LOLB forcing Jarvis to start without any tutelage. Chris Carter was the only other OLB on the roster.He played in 13 games, started 5 and only had 4 solo tackles, 1 ast, and no sacks resulting in the Steelers 8-8 season. Harrison came out of retirement back to the Steelers 2014 and got Moats in free Agency. It’s all good.

  • jsteeler

    Please, I hope Moats doesn’t go. The Jets, Falcons, 49ers and Redskins all 3-4 defensive scheme teams wanted his services. I am sure for more money. Moats is a loyal Dude. Loves Coach Tomlin and Coach Peezy. He is excited about this year and his effort shows! I am glad he is here and I pray he stays. He embraces the challenge of a little rookie coming to take his Sh%&!
    I love this dudes attitude. Always smiling.

  • jsteeler

    Great comparison. In 1995, My homeboys Levon Kirkland and Brentson Buckner was on the team then Representing Clemson University. 20 years later Martavis Bryant and Tajh Boyd.
    I am excited people. I am ready for Canton!

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m glad Moats is there to hold it down until Dupree is ready! I think Moats will fill the role of quality depth and special teams demon! We need guys like him!

  • thomas hmmmm

    Yes, that year the D was young, like this years.. They performed quite well that year.