September 9 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds (93) reacts after his sack of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (not pictured) during the first quarter at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Thanks to Teresa Varley of the Steelers’ team website, we gained some insight into who would start at running back and outside linebacker on “Opening Weekend.” Earlier today, head coach Mike Tomlin stated that Isaac Redman and Jason Worilds would start at their respective positions in Pittsburgh’s opening game on Sunday afternoon.
The news about Redman did not surprise me very much. He was listed as the “co-starter” along with Le’Veon Bell before he suffered a stinger almost three weeks ago. Despite the fact that Redman has not played since Week 1 of the preseason, Bell’s absence and the departure of Jonathan Dwyer probably made the decision to rely on the veteran an easy one.
To his credit, Worilds was able to hold off rookie Jarvis Jones for the starting gig at James Harrison’s old spot. Although Worilds will start, Tomlin stated that Jones would play in Sunday’s game. Because Jones performed as well as he did during the preseason, it will be interesting to see how many reps the rookie garners early during the regular season. Moreover, Jones’ emergence will help for Worilds LaMarr Woodley stay fresh throughout the 2013 campaign too.
Both players are entering the final seasons of their current contracts, so Worilds and Redman will now have golden opportunities to shine for the Steelers and other franchises around the league with some stellar play. While Le’Veon Bell and Jones could be breathing down their necks as the season continues, both veterans can keep the rookies at bay if they play well enough to keep the youngsters on the bench.
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