Although many assumed that this would happen as the week progressed, Mike Tomlin made his decision official earlier today when he declared that Felix Jones would start at running back against the Chicago Bears. In a recent interview on the Steelers’ team website, Tomlin described how his team would use Jones and the rest of Pittsburgh’s running backs in tonight’s pivotal game:
Felix Jones is going to get the start, and then we’re going to supplement him with the others.
Jones had a couple of nice runs against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, and finished the game with 37 yards on 10 carries. While the running lanes were sparse, the veteran running back played well enough to earn praise from his offensive coordinator after the game.
How often Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley will “supplement” Jones with Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer this evening will be something intriguing to watch for, but I really hope that Jones can play well enough to keep those two on the sidelines for much of the game since he can run better out of the shotgun formation and is more of a competent pass-receiver than Redman and Dwyer.
Tonight’s game will likely be Jones’ best chance to earn some extra carries before Le’Veon Bell returns to the lineup, so it would be nothing short of terrific to see the former first round pick take advantage of his chance to start.
Of course, Pittsburgh’s offensive line must create spaces and creases for Jones to run through for him and the rest of the team’s backs to enjoy any success on the ground this evening.
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