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Will Vince Williams bounce back from a down 2019 season?

Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

Pittsburgh Steelers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Three parts remain of our 90ish-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man (now 80-man) roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

Let’s take a look at eighth year pro:

Vince Williams

Position: ILB
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 233 lbs
College: Florida State
Draft: 6th round 206th overall in 2013


2019 Stats

14 Games played
55 Tackles
3 Tackles for loss
2.5 Sacks
1 Pass defended
1 Fumble recovery


Contract remaining

Expires in 2022
$7,031,666 salary cap number (3.5% of total cap)
$3,031,666 Dead money (Through the end of the deal)
$4,000,000 Savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. Vince Williams is one of the most veteran players of the Steelers defence, and is still one of its most important. Williams is the guy that usually wears the green dot (coaches speaker), and sets the defence when he’s on the field. He’s also playing a position that is extremely thin. Only Devin Bush, Ulysees Gilbert III, and Williams will receive regular defensive snaps at inside linebacker, the others are special teams guys. Don’t expect Vinny to go anywhere any time soon.


2020 projection

Injuries held Williams back from making the impact that we usually see out of him. When he was on the field the Steelers were considerably better in run defense. Just take the 2019 Week 3 game vs the 49ers for example, with Williams out of the line up the 9ers running backs gashed the Steelers defense for 164 rushing yards, and 2 touchdowns on 4.85 yards per carry. Then compare that to the Steelers Week 6 game against the Baltimore Ravens (who were statistically the greatest rushing team in NFL history) with Williams in the line up the Ravens rushed for 138 yards on 40 attempts for just 3.5 yards per carry. A healthy 16 games out of Vince Williams equals the Steelers defending the run better.


Projected stats:

16 Games played
70 Tackles
6 Tackles for loss
2.5 Sacks
2 Pass defended


Summary

Vince Williams might just be the most underrated player on the Steelers defense. He has quietly developed into a solid starting linebacker, when, in most cases a sixth round pick just ends up being a camp body. Williams makes the unit better when he is on the field, although at times he can be a liability in pass defense —especially when he is mismatched against a wide receiver (CC: Keanan Allen)— the Steelers coaching staff can mitigate this by simply substituting Williams out in passing situations. Using Williams to his strengths is one of the smalls keys to this season, if done properly both Vinny and the Steelers will succeed.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett -Cut
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney -Cut
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson
Bud Dupree
Eric Ebron
Terrell Edmunds
Trey Edmunds
Matt Feiler
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Zach Gentry
Ulysees Gilbert III
Derwin Gray
Joe Haden
J.C. Hassenauer
Quadree Henderson -Cut
Dewayne Hendrix -Cut
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston -Cut
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel -Cut
Christian Kuntz -Cut
Justin Layne
Leo Lewis
James Lockhart
Paxton Lynch
Dan McCullers
Vance McDonald
Anthony McFarland Jr.
Henry Mondeaux
Christian Montano -Cut
Alexander Myres
Steven Nelson
Spencer Nigh -Cut
Chuks Okorafor
James Pierre
Maurkice Pouncey
Kevin Rader
Dax Raymond
Ben Roethlisberger
Mason Rudolph
Jaylen Samuels
Tuzar Skipper
Wendall Smallwood
Juju Smith-Schuster
Benny Snell Jr.
Robert Spillane
Cameron Sutton
Ryan Switzer
Calvin Taylor
Stephon Tuitt
Alejandro Villanueva
Corliss Waitman
Cavon Walker
James Washington
Derek Watt
T.J. Watt
Kerrith Whyte