New Faces 2020: ILB John Houston – Steelers Depot

There isn’t a lot else to do whereas we sit right here and look ahead to information about whether or not or not there’ll even be coaching camp, so it appears pretty much as good a time as any to deliver again this sequence, during which we glance to introduce a few of the new gamers that the Pittsburgh Steelers have added to the combination because the finish of the 2019 season.

The group added some notable items in free company, which was necessary, as a result of they didn’t have a lot to work with by way of draft capital resulting from earlier trades. Additionally they made liberal use of the XFL’s closure, signing about as many gamers from there as the remainder of the league mixed. Even whereas claiming that they didn’t have a variety of roster room, they nonetheless signed a great variety of rookie faculty free brokers as effectively, sufficient that they needed to launch three gamers simply to make room for them.

Because the Steelers may announce their roster cuts any day now, and I might be writing a few participant as a brand new face in an article that publishes after he’s minimize, I’m hoping to stem the tide and begin publishing the brand new faces column earlier, swapping locations with the coaching camp battles sequence.

The Steelers suffered losses to the within linebacker place since final season, with 2019 free agent signing Mark Barron being a obligatory wage cap casualty at the beginning of the offseason. Along with Barron’s departure, who was a starter final 12 months, Tyler Matakevich additionally signed a free agent contract.

That leaves Devin Bush within the beginning lineup, and veteran Vince Williams returning to a full-time beginning function, with a pair of second-year gamers in Ulysees Gilbert III and Robert Spillane behind them. Gilbert was a sixth-round choose who spent half the 12 months on injured reserve. Spillane was an undrafted free agent signed within the offseason who was on the apply squad, and changed Gilbert for the second half of the season, racking up particular groups tackles.

The Steelers didn’t tackle the within linebacker place both in free company or within the draft, however they did utilizing faculty free company, for instance, with the signing of John Houston, a 23-year-old popping out of USC after spending 5 seasons there.

After a redshirt season in 2015, Houston performed in 10 video games the next 12 months, ending his profession as a three-year starter. He totaled 271 tackles throughout his faculty profession with 13 tackles for loss, together with seven in his senior season. He additionally had 5 sacks, half of which got here in 2019, along with a pressured fumble, an interception, and 12 passes defensed.

The benefit of the within linebacker place is that there’s all the time room for any individual to shoulder his method in, like Spillane did final 12 months, and others have previously, like Terence Garvin. If you may make an affect on particular groups, you could be the fifth linebacker, and probably even work your method into a much bigger function like L.J. Fort did.


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