From Colin Dunlap
The following is a letter, covertly intercepted, that was really not sent from Steelers Headquarters late Thursday night to outside linebacker Jason Worilds. But it’s a thought…”
Friday, April 26, 2013
Hope the offseason is treating you kind.
Warmest regards to you, your family and all who are near and dear to you.
Now down to business: Did you see that young man we drafted earlier tonight? Man, he sure is something, huh? Yikes, what a specimen.
Yes, Jarvis Jones, the outside linebacker from the University of Georgia who we added to the club with the 17th pick in the NFL Draft, is exactly the type of player we want on this football team and plan to infuse him into our vaunted 3-4 defense expeditiously.
Now listen, when we drafted you in the second round in 2010, we kind of liked you. Thought you were a swell guy out of Virginia Tech. Coach Beamer vouched for you and all that rigmarole.
But let’s be real frank here: We didn’t like you as much as we like this young Mr. Jones.
Sorry. No offense, right? Good. Thought so.
Anyhow, back to Mr. Jones.
Because, again, we really like this guy.
Well, there’s nothing you can do about it now, as he’s been added to our team. In the coming days, there will be much pomp and circumstance surrounding his selection. Hell, we are going to treat Mr. Jones like royalty — an adopted member of the Rooney family, even. We are going to fly him here, have him down to the facility and he will speak to the media, pose for pictures with Coach Tomlin, a bunch of people with the surname Rooney and Kevin Colbert.
The equipment guy, Rodgers Freyvogel, will make up one of those Steelers No. 1 jerseys for Mr. Jones to hold up at his introductory press conference.
You know the drill. Oh, no, wait, you don’t. You were a second round pick, that’s right. My bad.
Anyhow, moving on.
We really like Mr. Jones. You got that part clear, right? Good.
Here’s where you come in.
Mr. Worilds, you can go one of two ways with this.
As you watched the NFL Draft — and don’t try to fib and say you didn’t — you were probably disappointed that we took a guy who many pointed to as a man who will take your spot, either right away or eventually. Mel Kiper, Jr., and his hair, raved about the possibilities.
Well, Mr. Jones can take your spot, and will, if you want to mope, sulk, languish, pout and feel sorry for yourself that we selected him in the first round a little earlier tonight.
You got that? If you head to Latrobe, pull into Training Camp with some woebegone and sorrowful demeanor and let it impede some of the progress that you have made, then Mr. Jones will be out there on Sept. 8 against the Titans as the starter.
That’s one way to play it. But there is another.
Mr. Worilds, you could also turn this into motivation. I think, if I am not mistaken, that Coach once described you as:
At this juncture, and as he is tackle capable, he has a propensity for splash plays when he goes back to the lab for the week and has violent tendencies, because it is not his first rodeo with the other men out there on the grass in that war of attrition, and things of that nature, if you will, when he’s around a victory capable group of young men whether at home or during AFC North road action in 5-star matchups when the standard is the standard because Jason Worilds throws style points out the window.
OK, got all that? Whew. Good.
But that’s the point exactly. You have made strides since we selected you 52nd overall in 2010 to the point where you had five sacks last season. You have shown promise, and plenty.
So, that’s the second road you can take as you get the news that we drafted Mr. Jones.
You can get into the weight room and lift harder; dive into that playbook and be more studious. Use this all as inspiration, as stimulation and encouragement to, quite simply, not let some young whippersnapper take the job that is yours.
Two ways to go with this, Mr. Worilds.
And you decide how to answer all of this, it truthfully is up to you.
Hope this note found you well.
See you soon.
The Pittsburgh Football Club
Former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sports Writer Colin Dunlap is the featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weeknights from 10 p.m. -2 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at email@example.com.