Jason Worilds will start training camp on July 26 as one of the starters at outside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Whether he ends training camp as the starter is an open question. In order to try to best gauge Worilds ability to hold off number one draft pick Jarvis Jones, it is best to go back and review what Worilds did in 2012.
In order to play defense for the Steelers, you have to be able to play against the run. Worilds does a good job of that here. He is physical at the point of attack. The tight end is put in motion on a play like this for a reason. The reason it to get more momentum when engaging the outside linebacker. It doesn't work. Worilds uses good leverage and hand placement to stone the blocker at the point of attack.
Worilds, however, must do a better job of finishing the play. He can't fall to the ground. He gets good separation from the blocker, so he should be able to finish the play much better than he does. In college, Jones had a knack for making plays. Worilds will have to finish these plays better in order to really secure his job.
This is one of those plays that goes unnoticed to most, but not to the defensive coaches. When people talk about not being able to transition from college to pro, this is a perfect example. Worilds does a few things well on this play. First, he recognizes the play action quickly. Second, he drops quickly to his zone and as a result negates the offense's primary read. Third, he reacts well to the throw in the flat and takes a good angle of pursuit.
This play shows that the game is slowing down for Worilds. He is able to process a lot of stuff during this play and react correctly. This will be a big advantage of him over Jones at the beginning of training camp.
This is just a bad play. His footwork is bad for a high school player, let alone an NFL outside linebacker. Whereas there may be no crying in baseball, there is definitely no hopping in football.
Worilds commits a few egregious errors during this play. Beginning, he plays with no physicality. He is leaning into the blocker. On the first GIF, Worilds plays with good upper body violence. On this play, he couldn't crack an egg with this effort. Next, his footwork is bad. As I mentioned, you should never hop. Worilds needs to step with his inside foot, then rip with his outside arm while simultaneously ripping across the blocker's body with his outside leg. Finally, his reaction to the block is bad. As was stated earlier, he doesn't finish the play well. Moreover, he doesn't fight against the block well. NFL linemen are sometimes going to get position on you. It happens. But, as a defensive player, you need to work to regain position.
Worilds has made some strides during his first few years in the NFL. However, if he is going to hold off Jarvis Jones, he needs to play the game with more attitude. He needs to put more effort and emotion into his game. If he doesn't he'll be putting his effort and emotions into playing special teams.