Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Worilds View: 'It's Been Tough'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Worilds View: 'It's Been Tough'

Article excerpt

Most first- and second-round draft choices in the NFL receive preferential treatment. They get more opportunities to impress coaches than lower-round picks or free agents, and their path to a starting position is nearly paved for them.

But, if you tell that to Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds, he will laugh in your face.

Drafted in the second round out of Virginia Tech in 2010, Worilds patiently waited his turn to be a full-time starter behind James Harrison for three seasons. Then, one month after Harrison was released, the Steelers drafted his replacement, Jarvis Jones, with the No. 17 overall selection in April.

"It's tough in the sense that I played behind the [2008] defensive player of the year, and, when it's your time to play, they draft a first-rounder," Worilds said. "It's been tough."

That was the hand Worilds was dealt. Now the deck has been shuffled, and there is a new hand to play. In the middle of his fourth season -- the final year of his rookie contract -- he has a second chance to prove himself.

Six weeks after the coaches named Jones the starter at right outside linebacker, they are going back to Worilds in hopes that he can operate in the team's defensive system in a more effective manner than Jones, who, in addition to failing to provide sacks, missed assignments and was caught out of position in his limited playing time in a loss Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

Worilds is viewed by the coaches as the more dependable player.

"It's about me just trying to be an unselfish player," Worilds said. "I think for us, to be where we have to be defensively, we have to put other guys in position to make plays. I've done that. If I do that and everyone else does that, the plays will come."

Jones has not done that consistently enough and understands why he was demoted.

"They want me to be more technique-sound," Jones said. "I understand the things I have to do. It's a challenge. I just have to keep on working."

Jones was named a starter in the first place because the coaches were not enamored of Worilds, who started seven games in 2011 and three games in 2012 when LaMarr Woodley was injured. …

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