Adding to the negativity of the Jones pick is the speculation that will surely follow that he is Roethlisberger’s successor or replacement. Charlie Batch has already come out and said it and the media will continue to feed on it until one of them is no longer a Steeler. After next season the Steelers will need to extend Roethlisberger’s contract for salary cap relief as his cap hit is nearly 20 million. Roethlisberger probably feels he has 6 to 7 years left. Would he want to hear the noise about his replacement starting now? Roethlisberger is a competitor. Does Ben seem the type to help groom his replacement? Is it all possible this pick angered Roethlisberger? Is it possible the speculation from this point forward might make him dig in as James Harrison did when it comes time to renegotiate after next season as now Roethlisberger is looking for security? Just like Harrison, Ben has an ego too. How many people in any career want to have their replacement on their heels when they have more than a few years left? This pick will have a ripple effect that goes in many directions. Worse it could blow up for so many different reasons.
What was so nightmarish for me about this pick came to a head during a draft interview
with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on the NFL Network. When asked about the Jones pick the quote machine answered: “He is a sharp guy to put it the room”. Just as that quote was leaving Tomlin’s mouth the ticker on the bottom of the television read: “Ravens Selection #129 John Simon Ohio State University.” As always no coach in the NFL delivers a quote better than Tomlin but did anyone realize the context of that quote? Tomlin actually said they drafted Landry Jones to add to the (quarterback) room.
After the Ravens selected Simon Mayock said: “My favorite player in the draft.” Mayock called Simon a “thug” but sa
id it was a “good term” which means he is a player you need to find a place for on your football team. Charles Davis half jokingly said that Simon probably doesn’t even know he was drafted by the Ravens because he is in the weight room. Todd McShay said Simon should have been drafted 30 picks before this and this is why the Ravens year in and year out have great drafts. Mel Kiper loved the Simon pick. Chris Mortenson said that Mike Vrable former Steelers and Patriots linebacker and current Ohio State linebackers coach was adamant about Simon telling every NFL team that Simon is a player they need on their team.
What Tomlin said was no mistake because this week Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner repeated the Tomlin quote on the drafting of Landry Jones almost verbatim, “Landry Jones is a sharp guy for the quarterback room”. What? Someone please ask Tomlin or Fichtner why they would use the 4th pick on a player for the room and not the field. Colbert acknowledged he may never play so what was the purpose of taking a quarterback at that time in the draft? Simon to the Ravens. The Ravens! When the two worlds collided my head exploded.