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While Steelers fans mourn the loss of Lawrence Timmons, they should be excited about Vince Williams

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The Pittsburgh Steelers might have lost a huge piece of their defensive puzzle, but fans should be excited about Vince Williams getting a stab at starting for the black and gold.

Divisional Round - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost a valuable defensive athlete in Lawrence Timmons just the other day when he signed a two-year, $12 million dollar deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Timmons will be dearly missed as he was a staple for this defense for the last ten years. He was Mike Tomlin’s first draft selection as head coach of the Steelers and provided durability and passion at the inside linebacker position his entire career.

Every year the “Next Man Up” mentality is displayed in the Steel City, and this time around it’s Vince Williams’ time to shine. Williams was selected in the sixth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft from Florida State University. You may know Williams from his hard hits and physicality on special teams.

However, when he started this year in place of an injured Ryan Shazier, he put on an absolute show, and today we are going to dive into his performance mainly against the New York Jets when he registered nine total tackles, one sack and two run stuffs for a total loss of three yards.

Fantastic Run Stop On RB Matt Forte

Please Note: If you do not see the following gifs check the comment box below.

Williams is lined up right of the center in the middle of the field. As the offensive line of the Jets shifts to their left, Williams shifts his body laterally and makes a fantastic cut between two blockers to make a tackle on running back Matt Forte.

If Williams missed the tackle, Forte had a blocker in front of him with a wide open lane for a big yardage gain. It was great hustle and awareness by Williams to prevent a big run.

Pressure Forces A Fitzpatrick Throw Away

In this clip above, Williams is lined up behind Timmons. He keeps his eyes on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and engages the right guard as teammate Stephon Tuitt slips in to apply pressure.

As Fitzpatrick steps into the pocket after a missed tackled by Tuitt, Williams follows Fitz and forces him to throw the ball away.

This is the kind of pressure that needs to be displayed from the entire defense in the 2017 NFL season.

Sack on Fitzpatrick - Displays Strong Push, Ability To Get Off Block

In this final clip, you’ll see that Williams is a linebacker that has the physicality to play just about anywhere. Here is lines up on the right tackle and uses his legs and upper body to force the lineman backwards.

Williams displayed a strong push and then the ability to get off the block which resulted in a wrap up sack on Fitzpatrick as he had to move up into the pocket to try and escape the pressure from the Steelers defensive line.

Conclusion:

These clips are all from the 2016 NFL season, week five against the New York Jets. Williams also played a week earlier against the Kansas City Chiefs and registered 16 total tackles, one sack and a run stuff. The sack was a touch sack after quarterback Alex Smith fell to the ground.

In my honest opinion, his week five game was by far his most complete game as a starting inside linebacker. It displayed everything you want in a replacement for such a high caliber player in Lawrence Timmons.

While Timmons will be missed on this defense in 2017, having an athlete in Williams to replace him is just the perfect thing. Fans of this organization should not worry. He has the hard hitting mentality that everyone has missed this last few years. It’s back and better than ever.

Please Note: If you do not see the following gifs check the comment box below.