The Steelers were in the market to replace inside linebacker James Farrior, and they addressed that need in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday night by selecting Miami (Fla.) senior linebacker Sean Spence.
“We see him as an inside linebacker,” Steelers linebacker coach Keith Butler said. “Sean is a very distinctive, fast kid who is very smart.”
Butler said Spence (5-foot-11, 231 pounds) won't be expected to contribute much his rookie year other than special teams. Butler said Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote will be the starting inside linebackers.
“You are never going to replace a guy like James Farrior with all the intangibles he brings to the table,” Butler said. “We feel comfortable with what we have.”
The Steelers plan to groom Spence to eventually take over one of the inside spots.
Spence started 39 of his 40 career games at Miami at weak-side outside linebacker and ranks 11th in school history with 318 tackles that included 10.5 sacks.
Spence is the first Hurricane to record 100 tackles in consecutive seasons. He had 111 in 2010 and 106 last year.
Spence, 21, was a Butkus Award semifinalist as the nation's top linebacker last year.
“This is a perfect organization,” Spence said. “I am a team player, and I am going to contribute anyway I can. It is going to be great playing alongside those guys like Lawrence Timmons.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.