Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Worilds, Defense Put a World of Hurt on Browns Quarterbacks

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Worilds, Defense Put a World of Hurt on Browns Quarterbacks

Article excerpt

The Steelers sacked Browns quarterbacks five times Sunday and outside linebacker Jason Worilds did not record any of them. But Worilds might have been the most disruptive player on the defense.

The proof: He registered six hits on Browns quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden after they released the ball.

The Steelers' 11 hits on the quarterback tied a season high. Those 11 hits played a part in the defense forcing four turnovers.

There was William Gay's strip sack that was the direct result of a hit on Campbell. And defensive end Cameron Heyward theorized Gay's interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter likely was caused by the cumulative effects those hits had throughout the game.

"Whether it was games or straight rush, I thought we delivered a lot of punishment on the quarterback," Heyward said. "When we do that it will make [quarterbacks] see some things out there. It will make them rush. It's going to make it easier on the back end. If we can get that day in and day out we'll be successful."

The Steelers have hit the quarterback 34 times in the past four games. That's a staggering turnaround for a team that hit the quarterback just 15 times in their first four games, all losses.

In some game earlier this season, pressure on the quarterback was almost nonexistent. The Steelers hit Minnesota quarterback Matt Cassell once in a 34-27 loss in London. They hit Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco only twice.

It should come as no surprise then that the Steelers are 3-1 in the past four games and have forced nine turnovers, including seven in the past two games. They did not force any turnovers in those first four games when pressure was so infrequent.

"We want to make the quarterback feel uncomfortable in the pocket," said Worilds, who is responsible for 10 of the 18 hits the Steelers have administered on quarterbacks the past two weeks. "I think it affects the timing of their offense. If you can throw off that timing you'll be effective in what you want to do."

Evidence mounting

It's getting harder to ignore that Worilds is a thoroughly more effective player at left outside linebacker than right outside linebacker, and the statistics prove it. …

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