Moats Signed To Support LB Spots

Steelers sign former college defensive end who's played OLB and ILB in a 3-4 and WLB in a 4-3 as all-around reserve.

The Steelers on Monday signed fifth-year veteran linebacker Arthur Moats to a one-year contract that all but officially rules out the pre-camp return of James Harrison.

Moats, who just turned 26, was a defensive end at James Madison University who was drafted in the sixth round in 2010 by the Buffalo Bills with the intention of playing inside linebacker.

Then-coach Chan Gailey, though, wanted to take advantage of Moats' pass-rushing skills so he moved him outside in the Bills' 3-4 scheme.

Last year, with the Bills in a 4-3, Moats started a career-high 12 games at the will outside linebacker position and made a career-high 48 tackles.

In the Steelers' 23-10 win over the Bills last season, Moats was second on his team with 6 tackles. He also had an assist on special teams.

In his career, Moats has made 20 starts with 109 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. He's also made 32 tackles on special teams.

Moats won the Buck Buchanan Award at JMU in 2009. The award is given to the top defender in Division I-AA. Moats led the nation that year with 23.5 tackles-for-loss and he also had 11 sacks.

At the 2010 combine, Moats measured 6-0.2, 246 and ran his 40 in 4.69 seconds. He was a team captain and last year was named Buffalo's Walter Payton Man of the Year.

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