Kion Wilson Must Step Up For Steelers at Inside Linebacker


Aug 19, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Skye Dawson (16) runs with the ball as Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Kion Wilson (48) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

"He [Kion Wilson] was with us through camp, … Coach (Dick) LeBeau is going to do a good job of prepping him for the game.  Coach LeBeau has been doing it for a while.  We’ll have a defense where whoever fills in will be able to run the defense.-Lawrence Timmons on Kion Wilson stepping in for the injured Larry Foote"

It was unfortunate enough that the Pittsburgh Steelers were absolutely dominated on their home field during their opening weekend loss to the Tennessee Titans.  The fact that their defense lost their most experienced starting inside linebacker in the fourth quarter of the aforementioned game was just a “cherry” on top of a “crap laden sundae” for the rebuilding franchise.

The loss of Foote aside, the NFL does not “press pause” for teams with injury issues and the Steelers are now set to press on with Kion Wilson for the rest of the 2013 regular season.

Wilson, who was expected to be a full-time “special teamer” this fall, is now expected to assume an enormous role in Pittsburgh’s defense next to Timmons at inside linebacker.  How well Wilson can adjust to the speed of the game, especially since he has yet to log a professional start, will be an enormous question facing the Steelers as they press on through the 2013 campaign

A practice squad player for much of his career, Wilson has only played in a total of nine games at the N.F.L.-level during his three years (2010-2011, 2013) as a professional.  What makes that particular stat much more worrisome is the fact that the guy who he is replacing has started 119 games during his 12 years in the league.

Wilson is the most experienced backup inside linebacker the Steelers have on their roster at the moment, so whether or not the former South Florida Bull is “ready” to contribute on the defensive side of the ball is irrelevant at this point.  With Foote sidelined for the rest of the season, all Pittsburgh’s coaching staff can do is hope that they can properly prepare Wilson enough for the types of things he will see on a weekly basis at inside linebacker.

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