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Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker depth now a positive after 2015 NFL Draft

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Outside linebackers coach Joey Porter addresses the team's new pass rushing draft picks, as well as discusses the depth at the position with Jarvis Jones and the aging veteran James Harrison.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

By Dale Grdnic

PITTSBURGH -- Just how well sixth-round compensatory pick Anthony Chickillo fits into the Pittsburgh Steelers defense won't be known for a while, but with Joey Porter as his position coach he'll definitely have the right attitude.

Porter also gets to work with No. 1 pick Bud Dupree this year, and he's thrilled to have two more talented players in his meeting room.

"I think (Chickillo) adds depth to our pass-rush situation,'' Porter said. "You can never have enough pass rushers in the way the game is being played now from the outside linebacker position. ... I think he can fit the system with what we're going to do with him.''

Chickillo reportedly played out of position at Miami, Fla., but he was more on point when he played in the East-West Shrine game.

"Yeah, that was one of my top games,'' Chickillo said. "I was asked to do a little something different in the Shrine game. I got to go out and just let loose that week. ... So, I'm just happy I get to be with an organization like Pittsburgh.''

The Steelers outside linebacker depth increased markedly after the draft. Along with the two rookie draft picks, James Harrison, Arthur Moats, Jarvis Jones, Howard Jones, Jordan Zumwalt and Shawn Lemon are under Porter's tutelage.

"The guys that we already have on the team know their roles and know what they do best,'' Porter said. "Whenever you're drafting (Dupree and Chickillo) ... we're trying to address the situation to what we have is good, but we can always be better. I think that's what we're doing with the picks.''

While the Steelers are hopeful that their two draft picks will make an impact at some point, former No. 1 pick Jarvis Jones must have a big season after two injury-plagued, lackluster campaigns.

"I think Jarvis has had a good offseason,'' Porter said. "He's getting stronger, (and) he's doing some things that he knows he needs to do to get better this year. He's not naive to know what he's done so far. It doesn't meet his standards, and he knows there's a lot more in there.

"I thought Jarvis was playing good last year before he got hurt. (And) I still think he's one of the better linebackers in the league, and he will be that. It just hasn't happened yet.''

Porter also noted that he had to tell Harrison that his snaps likely would be limited to 25 per game, instead of 60. And how did Harrison respond?

"He knew what it was, (and) I just told him,'' Porter said. "You know you're not going to play the game like that anymore. ... You're just a couple months younger than me. I'm 38, and you're 37. He's not going to play 60 snaps anymore. He can't argue with that.''

Harrison said that as long as he is told before a game, instead of just pulling him out without any notice, he'll be fine with it.