July 26 begins training camp for the Pittsburgh Steelers and on July 23 head-coach Mike Tomlin answered a few of Bob Labriola’s questions regarding the state of the team, and who we will see going into camp as starters. Tomlin named Jason Worilds and Cortez Allen starters of their respective positions as they enter camp.
Jason Worilds was drafted in the 2nd round back in 2010 and during that time he gathered 81 tackles, 10 sacks, forced 1 fumble, and defended 2 passes. Worilds was also sidelined by injuries, which kept him from playing time in each season. This is a big year for Jason Worilds after the departure of James Harrison; he will have to compete with 1st round pick Jarvis Jones for the top spot on the depth chart.
Cortez Allen was drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 draft and was taken as project player who didn’t have a large football pedigree but flashed enough raw talent to alight the interest of the Steelers. Under the tutelage of Carnell Lake the Steelers must have seen enough of Cortez Allen to allow Keenan Lewis to leave for New Orleans in free agency. Allen will play outside with Ike Taylor and we will most likely see William Gay line up in the nickel.
Among other questions answered, Mike Tomlin alluded to the role of Ben Roethlisberger as a leader on and off the field. Roethlisberger is entering his 10th season in the NFL as the team’s franchise quarterback, which means he is a rallying point for the Steelers and is in a position to act as such.
Tomlin elaborated on Ben Roethlisberger’s role, ”Different people need different things from him. He’s got to provide them what it is they need. Maybe it’s a pat on the back, maybe it’s a kick in the butt, maybe it’s individually, maybe it’s collectively. He and I spent a lot of time talking about those things, and he understands it. It’s a very complex balancing act, but one that I think is done naturally for those that play that position. The men who play that position, particularly as long as he has; understand what comes with it.”
There are plenty of expectations for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013 but none of which are unattainable. They might not be very deep with depth right now, with so many unproven young athletes, but the team has done pretty well with getting rid of older, expensive talent while putting in place young, dynamic leaders rife with possibility.
John Thomas Menesini
NFL Staff Writer
Football Extra Points