RE: Jason WorildsOutside Linebacker - Virginia Polytechnic (Tech) Institute2nd Round – 52nd Overall
Is this a depth pick for Harrison and Woodley?
We got two pretty good outside linebackers that are starters right now. We think this kid could come in and help us in terms of depth and help us on special teams as he learns the defense. As you know, since I've been here we've never had a rookie linebacker start in this system. We like to groom them for a couple years and let them get their feet underneath them. The guys that have been successful here have always been good on special teams for us the first couple years they've been here. And we think this guy will be in that mode.
Was the initial draw to him for special teams play?
The initial draw to him was what we saw on film. He wasn't probably as productive his senior year as he was his junior year. He got a lot of attention from different offenses he played against. A lot of people doubled him to try and keep him away from the quarterback. We liked his mobility. We went down and spent some time with him during the offseason. We got a chance to meet with him, talk with him and check out his football knowledge, and do a little bit of research on him down there. Everyone had nothing but good things to say about him. We were impressed with the kid when we met with him. We were really impressed with him when we worked him and out and did some linebacker drills. He probably had one of the best workouts this year of anyone we've seen.
What did you like about him?
Speed, but more than anything that he was fluid. He's not a guy that you expect to stand up. A lot of guys you stand up early kind of struggle with opening their hips and dropping in pass coverage. That's always the question we have on what we call "hybrids." He was able to do things that we wanted him to do that we think he can do in this system. It was a matter of us projecting him in this system and I think he's a good fit for us.
Is "hybrid" the new term for "tweener"?
Yes, I guess you can say that. I don't think I'm responsible for coining that phrase. We stood up a lot of guys here, you guys know that. Some guys are successful, some guys are not. We believe this guy will be successful.
What did he run?
For us, down there, he ran a 4:51. At the combine it was 4:57 or 4:56, something like that.
There were a couple of familiar names from Penn State, being the linebacker coach, Lee and Bowman, were you at all tempted by those two?
We like those guys. We like Bowman, I especially like Sean Lee. But those guys are inside linebackers right now. And we have a pretty good quartet of guys at inside linebacker. Outside linebacker we need some depth on this football team at outside linebacker. And we need better special teams then we had last year and we think this guy can help us in that area quickly.
Do you think you have enough numbers at outside linebacker with James Farrior getting along in years?
Yeah, we think so. We'll see, every year's a new year and in this business you have to earn your keep every year and James Farrior knows that. He's aware of that as all of them are aware of that. So we've done, I think, a pretty good job in bringing Larry Foote back to create some competition inside. And I think that's going to help us in the long run. We have Keyaron Fox and Larry Foote as back ups to Lawrence Timmons and James Farrior so I feel pretty good about that position at this point in time. I feel a lot better about the outside linebacker position with this draft choice. We'll see though they all look good in college and in shorts, wait till they get to the big time we'll see what they do.
He's a junior turned pro right?
Yes, young guy.
You guys have done that quite often in recent years, taking the junior route. What are the pros and cons of that, taking a kid that young?
The pros of it obviously are you get them in your system as fast as you can and try to develop them. A lot of times guys like him who have played defensive end all these years, and all they've done is put their hand on the ground and looked at offensive tackles and tight ends butts are not seeing the whole picture. The thing that's hardest for these guys in my opinion is to adjust to formations, and number counts we use in terms of how we cover receivers, we number them from the outside in. Figuring out whose number 3 whose number 2, where do they line up in this formation the NFL is getting more creative with their formations, with all the unbalanced and stuff like that. I think there's going to be even more of an emphasis to where you line up. I spend 90 percent of my time teaching young guys where do they line up and what are they looking at, keys. I think that's part of their transition getting lined up right and what they look at.
Did he drop much at Tech?
He did drop some, not as much as he's going to drop here obviously. But he did drop some and he did some good things on the field in pads. This is just not a take off of a workout, he did well if you look at the Maryland game and a couple more games he has dropped into coverage and done a good job of it. And when we worked him out down there we felt that he would be good at what we asked him to do.
Was he part of the Beaver Kick Block parade or more run and cover?
Probably more run and cover. You know if he could block punts, great. I'm sure Al (Everest) would love him. But, we look for him to earn his keep. When I was down there and we talked to him, one of the first things I talked to him about was that we haven't started a rookie linebacker here since I've been here and for good reason. Here's going to have to earn his keep on special teams for a couple years, and he was fully aware of that. There's a big time emphasis on special teams at Virginia Tech, and I think it's something he'll be comfortable with.
Do you have a particular side in mind?
We were concerned because he just had played left-end and we want our guys to play both left and right. So we worked him out some at the right outside linebacker, too, just to see if he could do it.
At the Senior Bowl?
No, while we were down there, working him out at Virginia Tech, and he can. There's no doubt in our minds he can play either one. So we haven't decided which side to play him at. We'll see.
If he picks up the defense quickly, is there an opportunity for him to get on the field?
You've got an NFL Defensive Player of the Year, another guy who's made the Pro Bowl with him last year. It's going to be hard to get on the field for him this next year. I will never say never, but those two guys are pretty extraordinary. They don't like coming off the field and I don't like taking them off the field, to be honest with you.
A lot of the times you see the word relentless, and he is relentless. But, is there a player that you've seen that is similar to his style of play?
No, it's hard for me. I don't really like to compare guys because every guy is kind of unique in his own way. I've got three sons, and I'm constantly reminded by my sons not to compare them. So I treat these guys like my little brothers, even my sons, I'm old enough to be there father. I don't want to compare them, to be honest with you.