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While fellow rookie Jones struggles, Steelers LB Vince Williams growing up


Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) runs for a 7-yard touchdown past Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu (43) and defensive tackle Vance Walker (98) during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) (The Associated Press)

Vince Williams wasn't supposed to grow up this quickly.

The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker ended up not having a choice.

A season-ending injury to veteran Larry Foote and inconsistent play by Kion Wilson has thrust Williams into a starting role. While fellow rookie Jarvis Jones struggles to learn the intricacies of Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense, Williams is quietly holding his own.

Though defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau cautions it's too soon to make any real judgment on the play of Williams or Jones, he's pleased with how far Williams has come. LeBeau praised Williams for his ability to adjust quickly under difficult circumstances.

Williams is fourth on the team in tackles and is expected to play extensively Sunday when the Steelers (2-5) travel to New England (6-2).