Landry Jones on four picks: Things like that will happen


The backup quarterback situation for teams like the Dallas Cowboys has led to years of handwringing. Even ardent Pittsburgh fans will admit the Steelers haven't exactly done a stellar job finding the occasional sub for Ben Roethlisberger.

Thursday's 17-0 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles was a reminder Landry Jones still doesn't look ready to be relied upon as Big Ben's insurance.

Entering his fourth season, Jones threw four interceptions on 20 passes. One went for a pick-six; two others happened in the end zone. Sure, it's just the preseason and Jones didn't have most of the starting playmakers on the field, but it's still a depressing display for a player who should be making strides at 27 years old. Instead, Jones looks like a project that might never get finished.

"You have to make it a learning experience," Jones said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Things like that are going to happen. You are going to play bad. You aren't going to play like you want to. You learn from it and you move on."

Sammie Coates, who has struggled himself in two preseason games, took blame for not coming back to the ball and helping out his quarterback on the pick-six.

"It wasn't his fault," said Coates of Jones. "We have to make those plays for him."

That doesn't explain the other three interceptions.

Veteran Bruce Gradkowski is already dealing with a hamstring injury and, given Big Ben's injury history, the Steelers need confidence Jones won't make those same mistakes when the games matter if he's thrust into duty.

"We need to get better," coach Mike Tomlin said. "Sometimes it is playmaking by them and sometimes it is negligence by us."

Last season, the Steelers offense fell off a cliff when Roethlisberger missed four games. The Mike Vick experiment proved faulty, likely ending his career. Jones underwhelmed, lacking a big arm and command of the offense.

Not much seems to have changed in 2016.