View Full Version : What is the best linebacking rotation this year so far?

11-12-2011, 09:50 AM
CINCINNATI If Steelers linebacker James Farrior persuades coach Mike Tomlin and team doctors to let him play Sunday against the Bengals, he'll move back into the starting lineup to replace Larry Foote. Farrior's return would shift Lawrence Timmons back to inside linebacker.

Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley will sit out for the second week in a row with an injured hamstring, giving Jason Worilds his second straight start. Outside linebacker James Harrison said his injured toe will not keep him out of tomorrow's game.
Farrior, still feeling some discomfort with an injured calf, wasn't overly optimistic about playing after practice Friday.

"I think I can talk them into letting me play, but it's going to be tough," said Farrior, who is listed as probable. "If they feel I can't injure it any worse than it is now, then I'll be ready to go. I can tell it's getting better because the swelling has gone down. It's not as sore as it had been."

Foote gives the Steelers depth at linebacker that they didn't have with the injuries.
"I just have to be ready," he said. "(Farrior's) not 100 percent, but he looked good."
Wide receivers Arnaz Battle (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (knee) will not play. Guard Doug Legursky (toe), wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery (knee) and Hines Ward (head), linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (knee), safety Troy Polamalu (rib) and Harrison (toe) are listed as probable.

"I feel about the same as I did last week," said Harrison, who had three sacks last week against Baltimore after missing four games. "It's been a matter of getting back out there and getting in good condition."

Bengals tight end Donald Lee (foot) is out, and cornerback Pacman Jones (hamstring) is doubtful. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap (hamstring), tight end Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) and running back Brian Leonard (knee) are questionable.

From the Trib (http://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/Steelers%27%20linebackers%20are%20remaining%20in%2 0flux%20-%20Pittsburgh%20Tribune-Review%20http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_766944.html#ixzz1dVEZKVKC)

11-12-2011, 09:55 AM
So far this year we've seen our linebacking corp be in a state of flux like probably never before.

Harrison out, Timmons in on the outside
Farrior out, Foote in
Sylvester & Foote in for Farrior & Timmons
Carter in for Woodley
Timmons in for Woodley
Worilds in Woodley

It's like a circus trying to figure out who's going to play each week and with this group being so important you have to give credit to the reserves for coming in and playing hard. Woodley, had a great October but then got hurt; Harrison came back and 3 sacks, Timmons has been steady but not spectacular on the outside, the list goes on and on. Getting all these playmakers on the field at the same time again is important heading into the last half of the season. Though I'd like to see the original starting 4 back in there, it begs a question, who is the best Steelers linebacking group? We've seen just about every possible scenario unfold so far this year.

I would say right now it's still:

Farrior - I think Foote is playing his best football in a long time though and he's better against the pass than Farrior is.

11-12-2011, 10:00 AM
I say let Worlids play, how can he get better on the bench, give the kid a chance.
ILBs Foote and Timmons
Harrison OLB

Farrior sits.

IMO Timmons was not impressive @ OLB

11-12-2011, 11:17 AM
In Timmons' defense, moving back and forth from the inside to the outside is a tough deal. You're asked to play a totally different game when you switch. He's got the speed and power to be a quality pass rusher on the outside but you'd have to give him significant time to get acclimated to it. One week he's inside, then back out, then in the middle of the game somebody gets hurt and he's moving again.

This is something where ideally you'd want an entire offseason to explore and practice these scenarios, but we all know that wasn't the case this year.

In limited action last year Worilds was playing great, in limited action this year it hasn't been so great. You certainly couldn't put him in there in place of Harrison or Woodley for any significant amount of time.

Black@Gold Forever32
11-12-2011, 11:39 AM
Foote should start over Farrior since Foote has been damn good lately.......

Mike Tomlin
11-12-2011, 11:45 AM
The combination will be Harrison, Foote,Timmons, Woodley. The play of Foote will probably send Farrior on his way. With Sly or another draft pick being the future beside Timmons.

11-12-2011, 03:17 PM
So far this year we've seen our linebacking corp be in a state of flux like probably never before. Woodley

IMO the state of flux from the offensive line, the defensive line, the line backers and the secondary has been good for the team. More people have gotten the chance to play than otherwise would have, and when they play, they get better.

After the first few weeks, I thought we were in for a major rebuilding effort. Since that time, the offensive line has draastically improved, the defensive line has stabalized even with the loss of Smith and Hampton being pushed around. The secondary has been pretty good with the young kids getting some time.

Honestly, the biggest thing that I see as a need is an inside linebacker to replace Farrior/Foote.

11-12-2011, 09:17 PM
Foote has been playing very well lately... I like having him and Timmons in the middle, with Worilds and Harrison on the outside...

11-13-2011, 05:05 PM
It was nice to see Timmons back where he belongs in the middle today. If he's on the outside, he doesn't make that interception today that Will Gay batted down to thwart a Bengals drive.

11-13-2011, 05:42 PM
Actually like Worlids on the outside while Wood is out. I thought Foote should have played more and Farrior less

11-13-2011, 06:38 PM
Give me a linebacking group that can pressure the QB. I really don't care which 4 that is, and if it includes or excludes Woodly and Harrison.

11-13-2011, 09:39 PM
Worilds was credited with 2 total tackles today, 1 solo and 1 assist. He was getting pressure on Dalton a couple of times which was good to see. He'll be back behind Woodley after the bye week but if the Steelers are fortunate enough to get a big lead I wouldn't mind seeing him get more time. Mainly because he's got so much potential but he underachieves and I'd love to see him start coming around and taking the next step.

I liked Foote in the game today, I like the rotation between him and Farrior as much as you could like a rotation I guess. He's decent dropping back into coverage and able to shed blocks pretty darn well.

A blatant hold against Worilds right here as Scott runs by him.


11-14-2011, 03:12 AM
I was really hard on Foote early in the season when he was missing tackles, but the past few weeks his overall game has been very good. Though LeBeau will probably still play Farrior when he expects the other team to run, which could hurt us down the road...