Re: Hightower is the worst pass rusher /contain LB in the league
posted at 11/21/2013 3:15 PM EST
Best advice I can give is for him to watch film on Levon Kirkland.
Kirkland was a massive inside linebacker, just 6-1 but weighing anywhere from 275-300 pounds during his career. Yet he had great speed and agility for a big man. He became a starter at inside linebacker for the Steelers in his second season, 1993, replacing Pro Bowler David Little. By 1995, he was recognized as one of the top inside linebackers in the league, and had a stellar performance in Super Bowl XXX against the Dallas Cowboys at the end of the season. In that game, the Steelers defense held the Cowboys to just 15 first downs and Emmitt Smith and the Cowboys powerful running attack to just 56 yards, despite losing 27-17 in large part due to two key interceptions thrown by Steelers quarterback Neil O'Donnell. Kirkland had 10 tackles and a key sack of Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman.
That game and his outstanding 1996 season earned Kirkland his first trip to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors after the 1996 season. The Steelers had lost their emotional leader, outside linebacker Greg Lloyd, at the start of the season to a knee injury, but Kirkland took over the mantle of leadership. He also took over Lloyd's role in pass coverage as the only linebacker in the Steelers nickel defense. Opponents thought Kirkland would not be as adept in pass coverage as the fast Lloyd, but they quickly found out that Kirkland was just as fast and quick. He had four interceptions that season, a high number for an inside linebacker, to go along with four sacks and 114 tackles.
He made the Pro Bowl after the 1997 season as well, making a career-high and team-leading 126 tackles and career-high five sacks, as the Steelers went to the AFC Championship game (losing to the Denver Broncos). Although Kirkland played well in the next three seasons (1998-2000), the Steelers struggled on offense, and failed to make the playoffs, and Kirkland did not earn any more Pro Bowl berths despite his strong play
Career NFL statistics
They sure dont make em' like they USED to. Get this guy in the film room and light a fire under his Bum! He HAS the talent, so whats Up!??!