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Pittsburgh Steelers position update: OLB

8/18/2014

This is the 10th in a series that takes a post-training camp look at every position. Next up is outside linebacker.

Players on the roster: Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats, Chris Carter, Howard Jones, and Vic So'oto.

Projected starters: Worilds and Jones. Worilds finally enters a season as a starter and the fifth-year veteran will try to build on his strong second half in 2013. Jones, the Steelers' first-round pick in 2013, needs to make a big jump after registering just one sack as a rookie.

Projected number on 53-man roster: Four. Worilds, Jones and Moats are a lock, and the Steelers could only keep three players here if they think Terence Garvin or Jordan Zumwalt can fill in at outside linebacker assuming one or both make the team. I get the feeling Carter will be one of the odd men out here even though he has worked with the first-team defense when Jones has been out because of a groin injury.

Rookie watch: Howard Jones is raw, and he would ideally spend a year on the practice squad to get bigger and learn the nuances of playing outside linebacker. The Steelers, however, may not want to expose the Shepherd University product to waivers, and Jones may be able to help them on special teams as a rookie. He has already recovered a pair of fumbles in two preseason games, and if "HoJo" keeps making plays on special teams it's going to be hard for the Steelers to cut him.

What we learned in camp: Worilds is clearly the Steelers' best pusher, and the fifth-year veteran could register double digits in sacks if he stays healthy and gets help from Jones on the right side of the defense. Jarvis Jones looks like a different player this year, though a groin injury hampered the second-year man at St. Vincent College. Moats is fine as the No. 3 linebacker while Carter doesn't look like he has a future with the Steelers. Look for them to try and trade Carter for a draft pick and release the fourth-year veteran if they are not able to move him. So'oto remains in the picture after a strong game against the Bills, and it could come down to him and Howard Jones for the final roster spot at outside linebacker.

He said it: "I think the success of this team will be determined by the pace at which the young group develops and not only this year's draft class but last year's. We expect more from Jarvis Jones. We expect more from Le'Veon Bell. We expect more from Markus Wheaton. If they progress like we expect in addition to this year's class then we might have something." – Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert.