Mike Tomlin on Steelers QB Landry Jones: "He is a sharp guy to put in the room." What???

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Tomlin spits wisdom

A week before the NFL draft I wrote an article on why the Steelers needed to draft LB John Simon out of Ohio State. I presented many reasons why he was the one player I felt the Steelers not should, but needed to draft after round 1.  Before rounds 4-7 last Saturday I wrote about the absolute failure the Steelers have had for over 20 years drafting quarterbacks past round 3. On Wednesday Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette went one step further and covered the last 25 years of the entire NFL. Only 7 of 125 quarterbacks drafted in 25 years after round 3 have had moderate success as starter for more than one year.  Two turned out to be true success stories: Tom Brady in 2000 and Matt Hasselbeck in 1998.

After selecting Shamarko Thomas with their first pick in round 4 (#111) I was hoping the Steelers would take Simon with their second pick (#115) of the 4th round. The Steelers did have Simon in for a visit, they typically draft OSU players and he was now a value pick since he had a third round grade. I was starting to get excited with the thought of Jarvis Jones, Shamarko Thomas and Simon who could have been that linebacker that could have played either inside or outside. But then the Steelers took Oklahoma QB Landry Jones and worlds were about to collide.

Why pass up on not only Simon but there were many other outstanding players who were available that early in the 4th round who  can possibly start in a year or two and contribute on special teams immediately? I have read varying opinions on the Landry Jones pick from love it to hate it but all of the Steelers fans that I have spoken with have expressed anger or dismay at the selection. If the Steelers were so dead set on drafting a “developmental” quarterback why didn’t they take Tyler Bray out of Tennessee later?  Is there really that much of a gap between Bray and Jones?  The knocks on Bray who came out a year early are his immaturity and decision making. Landry Jones knock is his inability to handle pressure or chaos in the pocket. In fact at Oklahoma last year Jones was removed from the game whenever Oklahoma entered the red zone. Oklahoma did so because they felt Jones  replacement gave them a better opportunity to score. Does this sound like a quarterback who should have been taken in the 4th round?

Most of the analysts on ESPN and NFL Network did not like the Landry pick and none had much good to say about Landry Jones last 2 years at Oklahoma stating to “throw away” his senior year tape. The analysts said Jones  looked like a first round prospect after his sophomore year but got progressively worse because he couldn’t handle pressure or chaos in the pocket. Trent Dilfer went on a tirade trashing Oklahoma and the downward slide of Landry Jones. Only ESPN analysts Bill Polian former Colts GM and Todd McShay liked the Steelers pick of Jones.

It has always been said that because the Steelers have Roethlisberger they will always be in contention and that has proven to be true. What is bothersome about these reports on Jones is that he has not been capable of raising Oklahoma’s level of play. As the team declined so did he or was it the other way around? What Jones’ play has showed is that he is no better than the team surrounding him. Everyone who feels negatively about this pick might be wrong about Jones but the problem is we may never find out. That is what is so bothersome. With so many needs to fill coming off of an 8-8 season why take a player who Steelers GM Kevin Colbert acknowledged in post draft interview, may never see the field?


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Tags: Ben Roethlisberger John Simon Landry Jones Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers

  • sal palazzola

    I think Jones is better than anytthing else they had on the roster as a backup for Ben. I guess just because Trent Dilfer thinks the guy cant play the Steelers shouldnt have drafted him. sounds to me like someone’s ego got bruised.

    • marazico

      Even more – why is everyone thinking about the qb-backup, when the main concern is how the locker-room changed the last two years. The steelers lost some good experienced players and they have to let other guys take their places. The ravens showed that not an all-star-team will win the sb (all the wiseguys from espn, etc.. said that the ravens were an team with an inconsistent qb and two older all-stars), but a team with the right spirit and confidence. Short: you have to have the swagger to win a sb. The steelers had a lot of sucess the last couple of years and that was never a good thing. They won the superbowl when noone gave the wildcard-6thplaced any chance. Being the favorite was not a steelers attitude.

      So maybe we should count them out – so they can prove everyone wrong. And just for the record: Simon won’t catch any pass for the new 120-million-qb the ravens got. Let’s see how that works out for them.

  • skyfire322

    Here’s my take on the situation… We got a beast of a linebacker with our first pick in JJ, and the LB’s we have now are more than capable of wreaking havoc. They’re young too! Would it have been nice to get more depth in that position? Possibly. However, I think this was a smart move, because as of right now the backup QB situation is in dire straits right now.

    Batch (God bless that man) is almost 40 and will probably retire, and Lefty who is as injury prone as Ben. I’d rather see a rookie QB who can be groomed into something and can be a viable backup to Ben, than

    The one thing I have noticed is that whenever ANY team selects a QB in the draft, everyone immediately thinks that the team is trying to get rid of their current one. In some cases, that is the truth. In the Steelers case however, it’s not.

  • Scot Hickerson

    Jim Conroy, Your Just wrong about Landry Jones. The Reason Tylor bray’s dad was upset was the Steelers really were gonna draft Bray. The had Landry High on their board and didnt expect the draft stock drop of the whole QB Class and Landry to be there in the fourth. Landry is a first round prospect. The people who said Landry didnt raise the performance of his team doesnt know squat.. In the big twelve how can you do much better than a 10-3 with a Bowl game… Its a deep conference that has had 7 first round QB’s drafted in the last six years so it is impossible nearly to go undefeated. Especially with a 50th ranked defense and a 61st ranked Running game. Landry is ranked 3rd all time NCAA in passing including attempts.. He threw 2183 passes, giving him more of a chance to be pressured than anyone. Landry was also the all time big 12 passing leader who had the lowest Ratio of attempts to Sacks and Interceptions and Ranked #1 in 3rd Down Conversions. So I think people cant claim he sucks at being pressured given his stats. He gets rid o the ball fast and makes quick reads, decisions and quick releases.. You can blow off his 16646 yards passing at a high completion percentage and 123 Touchdowns. Jones is smart and can learn the system but fits the shorter passing up tempo new offence. If jones steps up the steelers have options in the next couple of years. One Question no one asks is what if Ben Wants to retire early.. What he plays in constant pain. He has done enough.

    • Craig

      So if Landry was such a ‘big time QB’ and was responsible for his team being good 10-3, why would they pull him in Red Zone situations?

      • Scot Hickerson

        Inside the thirty yard line, the regular run game got bogged down a lot and caused a lot of 3 and longs and field goals. They left landry in inside the twenty but If they got inside the 10 the they put in the Belldozer. The Belldozer had a high percentage of success with 22 rushing TD’s in the last two years. It was Landry that got them inside the 10. Landry averaged had 27 games of over 300 yards 12 over 400 yards and 3 over 500. Landry’s career per game average over 4 years was 314 yards. Landry’s 59 TD”s over the last two years all came from further out. I am a huge fan of Landry and I would have used the belldozer too.. Its not a knock on him.. It is a team sport

  • Robert Knestrick

    I agree it was a wasted pick ! I posted part of this somewhere else but it fits well here and you can add John Simon to the list. Steelers should have taken one of the following players instead of Landry Jones and in no certain order. Barret Jones, Khaseem Greene, Phillip Thomas, Khaled Holmes, Chris Harper, Marcus Lattimore, Denard Robinson, Jesse Williams, Stephan Taylor, or A. J. Klein. The Steelers have never developed a backup quarterback as long as I have been alive, 52 years. What makes you think they will start now. All we needed last year was one decent backup quarterback. I love Charlie Batch he probably was the best backup QB the Steelers have ever had but he was passed his time playing effectively last year. I think Brad Gradkowski will be a good backup QB like Batch was. Jones will spend most of his time being listed as inactive for games as emergency 3 QB. Completely wasted pick for a team with soo many holes to fill.

    • Scot Hickerson

      You are underestimating Landry because he was still there in the fourth.. Qb has the highest positional value there is and Scout Inc had Landry at 51 this year. Kiper had him at 15 last year.. So Landry will Beat out Gradkowski and he will be the back up and he will win when Ben goes down that is worth more than those other guys. Landry was the best player available.