It's not usually something seen with much optimism. Either the veteran undrafted journeyman or the rookie sixth-round pick to start as the Steelers' buck inside linebacker position.
That's the situation facing the Steelers, as the coaches work through the players' day off Tuesday to put back the pieces of a roster shattered by injury and the Tennessee Titans.
Starter Larry Foote was placed on injured-reserve due to a torn biceps in the Week 1 loss. Kion Wilson replaced him - a player who was cut, re-signed to the practice squad and then to the active roster for what was thought to be special teams contributions.
Writes Ed Bouchette of the Post Gazette, Wilson ended the game relaying the calls to the defense.
BTSC's Dale Grdnic interviewed Wilson last week in a piece meant to highlight the wide range of activity and, presumably, emotions Wilson experienced as he was cut, signed and signed again in the span of 72 hours.
Clearly, the piece was written too early - or at the very least, needs a fourth chapter.
From Unemployed to Starter in Four Steps: The Kion Wilson Story.
The Steelers' depth chart currently lists Vince Williams as the starter opposite Lawrence Timmons, and perhaps that will be how it goes when the Steelers travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals on Monday Night Football.
We should probably start asking Williams the same kinds of questions - a sixth-round draft pick to potential Week 2 starter.
Take this as both good and bad, but whether it's Wilson or Williams getting the start, the addition to either one of them to the starting lineup with the removal of Foote makes the Steelers defense roughly a year younger on average. It was just north of 29.
Perhaps it's ironic the Steelers' were savaged over the last two years for being too old, and now, an inexperienced player at a critical defensive position will draw doubts - the Steelers opened in some sports books as 7-point underdogs against the 0-1 Bengals.
To add some more twisted irony, Williams wasn't activated in Week 1, likely because of Wilson's special teams ability - or perhaps Williams' lack thereof. Yet, Williams is listed as the starter on the depth chart (Update: Wilson has been moved into the starter's spot on the depth chart). In other words, he doesn't play unless he starts.
Again, is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Whatever it is, it doesn't happen often. And it very well could be the Steelers make another roster move and bring in their intended starter for Week 2. It's hard to assume there are definites of any kind with this roster right now.
Except the fact this team could really use a do-over from Week 1.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers Film Room: Week 1 vs. Titans
- Jones and Worilds are co-starters
- Opinions on Miller in Week 2 differ
- Redman and Bell still co-starters despite acquisition of Dwyer
- Beachum to start at center against Bengals
- Heath Miller may return in Week 2
- Meet Fernando Velasco, the Steelers newest roster addition
- Steelers focus on conditioning is not preventing injuries
- Mike Wallace acts like diva receivers of the past
- Rundown of the Steelers roster moves from Monday
- Homer's take on the State of Steeler Nation
- Steelers PFF grades: Week 1 vs. Tennessee Titans
- Steelers sign kicker Shayne Graham
- Steelers sign C/G Fernando Velasco in wake of Maurkice Pouncey injury
- Steelers 2013: Are we witnessing the fall of the House of Colbert?