Arthur Moats (52) before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Arthur Moats signs with Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers needed to snag a solid starting inside linebacker to pair with star Lawrence Timmons, and the Steelers especially needed to add someone who can bring some hard-nosed, downhill run defense to solidify the team’s ability to stuff runs up the middle. Pro Football Talk reports that the Steelers are signing former Buffalo Bills solid starting linebacker Arthur Moats to a one-year deal, and he’s definitely a quality solution for Kevin Colbert to start next to Timmons.

I’ve always viewed Moats as an underrated player in this league, and the only reason why the 26-year-old (he’s a couple of years younger than I thought) fell out of favor in Buffalo was because of his struggles in coverage; he has just one career passes defended. However, run defense isn’t as big of a priority in the 3-4 as an ILB, and the Steelers will appreciate his ability to make plays in the running game. He’s no Brandon Spikes or anything, but he did notch a solid 54 tackles in 16 games last season.

Moats actually set a career high for tackles last season after never notching more than 33 he had as a rookie in 2010, and I’m willing to bet that he will have more than 54 tackles in 2014 and establish a career-high in his fifth season in the league. This is a cheap, no-risk signing for the Steelers, and it gives them a good, affordable upgrade at the position. Run-stuffing ILBs are a niche role that can be had for a cheap price, so give plenty of credit to the shrewd Steelers for making this nice little deal.

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Tags: Arthur Moats Pittsburgh Steelers Transactions

  • John Smith

    Great we signed another dead beat. How old are you Joe 17? This guy is not an upgrade over Vince Williams who as a rookie had a stellar second half of the season.

    • Joe Soriano

      “Stellar” is too much praise, but he did look promising down the stretch after a very rough first half of the season. Mike Tomlin sounds pretty high on the guy, and I think I need to start giving Williams more credit. After all, he did have the same number of tackles as Moats did last year, even if tackles aren’t everything and Moats had much better players around him on the Bills front seven (Dareus, Williams, Williams, Alonso, Hughes).

      My thing is that Moats has been very underrated for a few seasons, and the Bills have never given him enough opportunities to show everyone how solid he is. I thought he was better than Williams last year, especially in run defense; I think Moats and Williams will rotate next to Timmons a bit based on the down etc. But please don’t overlook Moats as a quality player, because he almost never misses a tackle. Dude is sure-handed as heck.

  • bk

    Look at the gains vs losses in Free Agency and see if anyone thinks they are better now than before. 8-8? It’s frustrating to see Denver and NE adding the likes of Revis, Ware, etc… to make another run while Brady and Manning are their qb’s… then we see the Steelers… abou the only good thing they did was cut Woodley.

    • Joe Soriano

      With their cap issues, it would have been impossible to make big moves like that. I thought the Steelers did decently well in free agency, but Mike Mitchell is the gamble that will be the defining move of the free agent period. I did like the Lance Moore signing, though, and at least Mitchell was a nice upgrade. FA isn’t over for Steelers yet, as we still have to wait on possible Harrison, RB moves.

      • bk

        I just think they are treading water and counting on Ben to do the impossible… How many more years do you think he has? 3-4?
        Is Landry Jones the answer? They went 8-8 two years ago and did zip to improve and it showed in an 8-8 record again… so next year what do you think is going to happen? They need to get a plan to make a run in 2015 or 2016 and if that means taking a cap hit and going 4-12 so be it… anything other than a SB victory is failure.
        Is Troy going to be here in 2016? Miller? Timmons? No, they are just kicking the can down the road.