Pittsburgh Steelers Defense: (Jason) Worilds Away From Dominance


Was it really hard to imagine the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rebounding from their thrashing on Thursday Night Football to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Pittsburgh?

Hardly. On Sunday, Coach Tomlin’s 2014 squad continued their startling trend of beating a good team one week (2-0 Carolina Panthers) and becoming the NFL’s Joke of the Week the following week with their stunning last-minute loss to the 0-3 Buccaneers.

After stifling superstar Cam Newton for 250 yards, three sacks and one forced fumble, the defiantly over-confident Steelers were bested by Bucs back-up QB Mike Glennon.

Glennon, in his first start of the season, tossed for 302 yards and two touchdowns. Idiotic personal fouls, off-side penalties, and untimely drops by the Steelers offense certainly aided the loss.

However, Todd Haley and the offense didn’t allow Glennon to look like Joe Montana in a 245-yard second half.

While the loss of three defensive starters – Jarvis Jones, Ryan Shazier, and Ike Taylor– may have been a factor, the disappearance of a pass rush, specifically big money outside linebacker Jason Worilds, persists.

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Worilds was the Steelers’ top pass-rusher heading into this season. In his final four games of 2013, Worilds had 24 tackles (18 solo), four sacks, nine QB hits and one forced fumble. The Steelers recognized his production, cut LaMarr Woodley and tagged Worilds for $9.8 million.

His repayment? In four games this season Worilds has just 10 tackles (six solo), one sack, and four QB hits. Opposing offenses also seem to run at the Steelers top dog — not away from him.

Fellow OLB Jarvis Jones has more sacks (two), tackles (14) and a forced fumble while playing 5 1/2 fewer quarters than Worilds. Jones (wrist) won’t be back until late November which led to the re-signing of James Harrison.

Harrison brings his legacy of sack mastery, yet his 29 snaps after not touching a football field since 2013 was another questionably ineffective decision.

Arthur Moats got the start vs Tampa Bay but only saw 58 percent of the defensive snaps while sharing time with the 36-year old Harrison. Moats has as many sacks as Worilds while having one-third the snap count.

If Worilds continues to disappoint, perhaps he should be the one sharing the bench.