Skip to main content

Around the League

Presented By

Pittsburgh Steelers bringing Jarvis Jones along slowly

After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected outside linebacker Jarvis Jones with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, coach Mike Tomlin said he would not "close the door" on the rookie's potential for earning a starting job opposite LaMarr Woodley.

Six weeks later, it's evident that Jones has a long way to go before he puts serious heat on Jason Worilds as James Harrison's successor.

Instant Debate: The pressure is on ...


Which rookie faces the most daunting spotlight in 2013? Our analysts debate, with Jets QB Geno Smith topping the list. **More ...**

"It's not fair to the rest of the guys to have him out on the field," Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said Wednesday, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "He knows that. Before he plays, he's got to know what he's doing."

The Steelers typically redshirt their defensive rookies, as coordinator Dick LeBeau's scheme is one of the most complicated in the NFL. Jones' head still is spinning as he picks up the finer points of pass coverage while losing his tendency to freelance.

"It's like trying to teach algebra to basic math," safety Troy Polamalu said. "You've got to almost erase their career and what they've learned to this point and start anew with this defense."

The Steelers rarely miss on first-round draft picks. There's no reason to believe Jones won't be an impact player once he masters LeBeau's defense, but he'll likely take a backseat to Worilds early in the season.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content