He was behind James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, James Farrior, Larry Foote, Jason Worilds, Keyaron Fox, and Stevenson Sylvester when it came to LB depth.
Gibson wasn't just inactive because he was a rookie, he was inactive because he couldn't provide anything on defense or special teams. He was #4 at OLB, and was never active. Stevenson Sylvester, drafted a round later and being one spot lower on the depth chart at his respective position (#5 behind Farrior, Timmons, Foote, and Fox) was still active for all (or at least almost all) games this season.
He was immediately picked up by San Francisco and has yet to do anything with them. He started playing special teams for him and had 3 tackles there. I hope the Steelers won't regret releasing him, but to be honest, he was never going to start over LaMarr Woodley (assuming he's kept long term), and would not surpass Worilds in the depth chart after Harrison retired, IMO. I know Worilds hasn't done much either, but he has been active and recorded two sacks this past season, one vs. TB and the other vs. Oakland.
Gibson was a risky pick. He had first round athleticism but fifth round production. During his three years at Ohio State, he had 10 sacks and 82 total tackles. That's not impressive at all. I know he didn't have a clear position and consequently had to switch between DE and OLB, but ultimately I think Gibson was a guy who got away with his great athleticism. When it was time to combine that with true football skills, he struggled.
[QUOTE=JollyRob68;413973]Steelers dropped Gibson because he was behind in the playbook due to his late arrival to the team.(college rules on trimesters put him behind the 8 ball).
Missing mini-camp doesn't affect players as much, but not getting the playbook absolutely does, so you're right. Learning the playbook is essential for a young player's development.
I actually don't think we need to improve our LB depth at all. I still expect us to draft a LB, we always do, but we've got more than good depth right now. We've got an elite group of starters with more than capable backups. Worilds looked good in the limited tim he had, and people also seem to forget that Timmons used to be our #1 OLB backup for a while. He can play OLB in a pinch, with Farrior and Foote inside. Foote is still a good run-stuffer and I'd have no problem seeing him play beside farrior for a few games.Dontay Moch is nice and I can see them snatching him late but I think they need more ILB's not OLB's & xtra DB's(fs/ss/cb).
We do need DB's though.
As for Moch, I'm definitely intrigued by his speed, but he doesn't have great size. From the limited clips I've seen of him, he definitely uses his speed well but can push offensive linemen backwards, which I'm not sure if it's a reaction from them to compensate for his speed or him truly pushing him backwards. In any case, we'll know for sure by the end of the week after the combine. I'm just worried that he's a speed-rusher only, because we a prolific college speed rusher, and well, he just didn't work out: