Rookie quarterback Landry Jones did not enjoy a particularly promising start to his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers during last Saturday’s preseason opener. On the first play from scrimmage, Jones accidentally ran into running back Baron Batch when he tried to hand the ball off near his own goal line. The signal-caller fumbled the ball, recovered it, and was downed in his end zone for a safety.
Despite the embarrassing start to his first preseason game, Jones actually settled down and went 5/9 for 48 yards in his debut before he was removed from the game early in the fourth quarter. The former Sooner also looked comfortable throwing to his former college teammate, Justin Brown, who also had a nice night as well (four catches for 32 yards).
I do hope that Jones’ sake that he can make the most out of his chances during the final three weeks of the preseason though, especially because the rookie quarterback is not expected to receive any sort of “on-field” chances this fall behind Ben Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski.
Granted, Jones’ job as the number three quarterback is not in any real danger at this point. Yet Jones status as the third-string quarterback will likely lead to him being made an “inactive” on game days during the regular season. So with the veterans firmly entrenched front of him, the only time Jones will see the field this fall will during warm-ups.
One must keep in mind though that Pittsburgh’s brass drafted the University of Oklahoma’s all-time leading passer in for a reason, and it was specifically to groom and develop him into a quarterback who could compete for a starting job at some point down the road.
While Jones does not necessarily need to make a “splash” during the next three weeks, he does need to illustrate to his coaches that he has the tools to develop into a reliable long-term option. With the regular season chances likely to be slim to none during the early stages of his career, it is imperative that Jones uses his upcoming preseason snaps to his advantage.
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