-- The Steelers coaching staff felt last year that no off-season due to the lockout really hindered 2010 2nd round pick Jason Worilds who didn't make that big jump from year 1 to year 2 like the Steelers hope high draft picks do.
This year it's been another lost off-season for Worild's who has been sidelined for months due to wrist surgery. Worilds has started camp on the PUP list and is still believed to be at least a good two to three weeks away from being fully cleared.
As good as Chris Carter has looked in camp, there's no signs right now that he could actually step in for a James Harrison or LaMarr Woodley if the Steelers are hit hard again with injuries at the outside linebacker position. Worilds is a player who needs to take that next step, especially as concerns mount regarding James Harrison. Speaking of Harrison, linebackers coach Keith Butler told David Todd of 970 AM today that he doesn't expect Harrison back for a couple weeks. "I'm hoping a couple weeks, but I don't know, " Butler said. With Worilds and Harrison injured, Stevenson Sylvester is getting some looks at ROLB.
-- Despite uncertainty about what the Steelers can get out of Casey Hampton this season who is working his way back from ACL surgery, many inside the organization feel the defensive line will be much improved from last season. Two reasons why is Steve McLendon and 2011 1st round pick Cam Heyward. McLendon has been dominant in camp, is stronger and appears primed to make an impact on the D-line. Meanwhile, Heyward is a player that the coaching staff feels is primed to make that big leap from year 1 to year 2. It won't happen right away but it won't be a surprise if Heyward takes Ziggy Hoods starting job at LDE by mid-season. The coaching staff feels Heyward could have a big impact on this defense.