Jason Worilds made Pittsburgh Steelers fans forget about LaMarr Woodley last season. His eight sacks in only 11 starts not only led the team, but gave the organization a glimpse of Worilds' capabilities.
The main issue with Worilds is his relatively small body of work so far during his career in the NFL. Any NFL team would be foolish to give a player a long-term contract based on a strong half-season.
The Steelers played their cards correctly in putting a transition tag on Worilds this off-season. When Worilds signed the tender, it meant the Steelers would be in control of keeping the Virginia Tech product within the organization if he plays to his potential.
This is where Worilds finds himself on the eve of the season-opening game against the Cleveland Browns.
Worilds will have pressure to perform this season, not just for the success of the Steelers but also for his bank account. If Worilds is able to pick up where he left off in 2013, there's no doubt he'll have an offer from the Steelers organization, as well as other NFL teams desperately seeking a player that can get after the quarterback on a regular basis.
Worilds hasn't had an easy start to his career, filling spot-starting roles only when injuries enabled him to get onto the field. But now he's heading into the season as a full-time starter for the first time in his career, and now is when he must prove his worth, not only from an individual standpoint, but also as a team player.
Expectations are high. After tallying eight sacks in 11 games last year, the organization and fans alike are looking for a double-digit sack total from Worilds. It's time for him to prove his worth in 2014.