Sometimes the scheme helps a player.
Sometime the scheme doesn’t help a player.
Dick LeBeau’s new third-and-long scheme of putting the newly minted $10 million pass-rushing linebacker Jason Worilds in the middle of the field as an inside pass rusher/spy isn’t doing anything to help Worilds pressure the quarterback.
That’s part of the reason why Worilds has only one sack, three quarterback pressures, no forced turnovers and only eight tackles a quarter of the way through the season.
Remember, Worilds is the same guy who shoved LaMarr Woodley aside at outside linebacker a year ago and went on to lead the team in sacks with eight – seven of which came over the final eight games he played last year.
Bottom line is that Worilds isn’t being put in a position to get to the quarterback – at least over the last two games.
The way pass-rushing linebackers sack the quarterback is in obvious throwing situations. Those obvious throwing situations are third-and-long.
The last two weeks, Worilds has played a new role in third-and-long situations that might be better off for the team, but it is limiting his ability to get to the quarterback.
Ten times against the Buccaneers did LeBeau go to, what I call his ‘lulu’ formation (sorry for a Varsity Blues reference) on defense.
It’s a formation that has Brett Keisel and either Arthur Moats or James Harrison as outside pass-rushing linebackers, a defensive lineman (usually Cam Heyward), Worilds lined up as a roaming inside linebacker in front of the regular inside linebackers in Sean Spence and Lawrence Timmons.
Different combinations rush the quarterback which makes it difficult to block and what is attractive to the Steelers, but not Worilds.
Against Carolina, Worilds was a spy first then rush – which doesn’t get you to the quarterback much. Against Tampa, he was much of the same.
The Steelers are doing that because Worilds has the speed to do it and can rush the passer at different angles. But when a guy was so successful coming off the edge last year and creating pressure, why change now?
A new wrinkle? That’s all I can think of.
A new wrinkle that isn’t very conducive for Worilds to do what he does best – rush the quarterback.
* Note: Check out the Mark Kaboly Show Podcast. I have an interview with Arthur Moats and a lot of good Steelers talk following their 27-24 loss to Tampa Bay. Click here ——>http://sportstalk.triblive.com/download/929KABOLY14.mp3