If aging in reverse was a real thing, veteran Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Vince Williams is doing just that.
In his eighth season, Williams is going through a type 'Renaissance', which is reflected in his many contributions this season. The player known for his rugged approach to the linebacker position, is now affecting the game different ways. Whether he is blitzing inside for a sack or covering receivers, Williams has become a diverse, all-around defender.
In three games this season, he has almost equaled the amount of sacks from 2019, he currently leads the team in tackles for loss with eight, while shutting down pass catchers that come his way. There have been very few assignments that Williams has not been willing to take on this season. When given a particular task, Williams has shown the ability to produce with consistency.
“He’s a formidable run stopper. That is his niche", head coach Mike Tomlin said during his August interview on the show 'Good Morning Football'. "He’s always been really solid in that regard over the course of his career. He’s worked to develop other aspects of his game." From the small sample size received this season, Williams has succeeded in translating his hard work from the offseason, to positive results.
Even with the presence of gifted second-year linebacker Devin Bush Jr., Williams continues to be the essence of the Steelers linebacking corps. Whatever challenges await them, they can take solace in Williams ability to rise to the occasion when it matters.