The Pittsburgh Steelers just re-signed inside linebacker Vince Williams to a one-year contract and that deal comes not too long after the team re-signed fellow inside linebacker Robert Spillane to a one-year deal, as well. Did Spillane know that Williams would ultimately be re-signed at some point during the offseason? It certainly seems like it when you retrace what all he said during an interview with Missi Matthews of steelers.com.
— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) April 15, 2021
“You never know, like you said, it is a business and things happen, but you never know, he might end up being back a Steeler,” Spillane told Matthews not too long ago when asked about the team cutting Williams around the start of the new league year last month.
As part of that interview with Matthews, Spillane also talked glowingly about Williams and what the veteran linebacker has meant to him so far during his time in Pittsburgh.
“Vince is one of the people that I’ve very strongly looked up to since they’ve won in Pittsburgh,” Spillane said. “He’s a guy that goes about his business the right way. He plays football the right way. The energy he brings to a defense is infectious, and his ability to really rally guys together, get guys going on the same page, is a high-end trait of his”.
It will now be interesting to see how the return of Williams to the Steelers ultimately impacts Spillane and his spot on the team’s inside linebacker depth chart. If Williams makes the 53-man roster later this summer, odds are good he’ll be ahead of Spillane on the depth chart. With fellow inside linebacker Devin Bush expected to return from his 2020 knee injury that wound up sidelining him from Week 6 on, Spillane might be hard-pressed to get any defensive playing time in 2021.
Overall, Spillane’s roster spot seems safe. That’s because he is a solid special teams player and a core one at that. Williams, on the other hand, won’t be expected to play much, if any, on special teams in 2021. And that’s if he sticks on the roster past the final round of cuts.
Regardless, it’s good that the Steelers have both Williams and Spillane back on the roster for the time being. While the former is now glad to be back, the latter is likely just as happy, as well.
“You know, ever since I became a Pittsburgh Steeler, Vince is a guy that I looked up to, not just because of the teammate he is, but just about how he goes about his business,” Spillane said of Williams. “He’s a guy that might not talk the most, but just watching him work and watching him go through his processes, he does things the right way. So, I have the utmost respect for a guy like Vince.”
In 121 career regular season games, Williams has made 69 starts. He has totaled 444 tackles, 48 tackles for loss, 43 quarterback hits, 20.5 sacks, five passes defensed, five fumble recoveries, and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.