Saturday, April 10

Quick thoughts on Avery Williamson’s Steelers debut – Behind the Steel Curtain

Avery Williamson made his long awaited debut for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter of the teams 36-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The 28 year old linebacker received his first snaps since suiting up as a member of the New York Jets, and didn’t look out of place despite limited practice time in the Steelers system.

The Steelers being able to build a comfortable lead didn’t just allow Williamson on the field, but to play with reckless abandon. In what was basically garbage time, the Bengals turned to its running game, which fits right in the wheel house of Williamson. The heavy tackling, run stuffer was able to get into the thick of the action on a number of occasions.

Playing in just 11 snaps, Williamson was able to put up his first career Steelers tackle, in vicious fashion. He was also involved in a number of other group tackles.

I really liked how Williamson attacked the ball carrier, and how he doesn’t allow anyone to get past him. Williamson is a sure tackler who has enough speed to cover the entire field. While his predecessor Devon Bush, flashed his blazing 4.43 forty time on a number of occasions, Williamson can still fly with 4.66 speed.

As Williamson get more comfortable within the Steelers system, and picks up the lingo of the defensive scheme. I envision the seventh year pro playing more and more snaps before he supplants Robert Spillane as the teams starting inside linebacker.

I know many of you really like Spillane, as do I, but as the weeks go on Spillane has been exposed in some of the weaknesses of his game and would fair better in a more limited roll, while ramping up his special teams usage. While Williamson isn’t the best cover linebacker either, he is a much more polished veteran who has a better understanding of the game being a multi year starter.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think about Avery Williamson’s debut? Do you think he’s destined to overtake the starting job?

Tell us why/why not down in the comments below!

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