Originally posted on Steelers Depot  |  Last updated 2/7/14
By Matthew Marczi End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it. Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this. Player: Vince Williams Position: Inside Linebacker Experience: 1 Year I suspect that the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff had a much different exit meeting with rookie Vince Williams than they expected they might when they drafted him in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. I certainly don’t suspect that they envisioned him starting 11 games and playing over 400 snaps as the Buck linebacker in his first season. But that’s exactly what happened following an opening day injury to Larry Foote, which ended his season prematurely—and, perhaps, began the ‘Vince Williams’ era early. Of course, Williams has an awful lot of work to do before he can prove that he is a long-term starter, but I, and many others, I would imagine, share the opinion that he has earned the right to enter the offseason as a starter. He wasn’t even dressed for the first game of the season, due to special teams needs, but he was the remaining 15 games of the season, and he played over half of the team’s defensive snaps in Week Two, despite the fact that they chose to start Kion Wilson as the Buck linebacker rather than him. It was the same story the following week until the fourth game, when Williams finally came out with the starting defense, even though he had been playing the bulk of the snaps to begin with. In fact, it seemed that the more solid his position as the starter was, the less snaps he ended up playing. Much of that had to do with personnel. The Steelers had more players in the secondary that they trusted than in the front seven, so as the season progressed, the quarters package essentially became their base, meaning that Williams spent a lot of time running on and off the field. There were games that he started in which he played less than 10 snaps due to how extensively the Steelers used their sub-packages. I would imagine that the constant movement and inconstant playing time did affect his performance some. Still, he played much of the season on an upward trajectory after some early struggles against the run, with the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders games signifying low points. His play against the run improved significantly over time, though the same can’t be said for his coverage ability. By the end of the season, the Steelers were trying to get Williams off the field on passing downs by replacing him with Terence Garvin, a slimmer linebacker more suited to the task. Still, there’s plenty of time for Williams to improve in this area. It’s not something that he did much in college, so it would be expected for there to be some growing pains. There is potential in this young player, so I’ll be watching him closely this year. Previous Articles In This Series Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Ben Roethlisberger Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Antonio Brown Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Emmanuel Sanders Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – TE Heath Miller Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Marcus Gilbert Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G David DeCastro Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G Ramon Foster Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Kelvin Beachum Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – RB Le’Veon Bell Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – C Fernando Velasco Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – FB Will Johnson Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Brett Keisel Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – NT Steve McLendon Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Cameron Heyward Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB LaMarr Woodley Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB Jason Worilds Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – ILB Lawrence Timmons Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – ILB Vince Williams is a post from: Steelers Depot
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