Although Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones played in a 3-4 defense while at Georgia, veteran inside linebacker Larry Foote said on Wednesday after practice that it will be tough for him to overtake fourth-year linebacker Jason Worilds as the starter outside right away.
“It\’s going to be difficult (for Jones to start immediately), especially outside,” Foote said, via a report by Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “There is so much technique, (knowing) where you\’ve got to line up, inside or outside. The fortunate thing is they (Jones\’ Georgia) played a 3-4. … I\’ve seen a lot (of players) come in as rookies and not have a clue, but you can tell he\’s been around our type of football.”
During the rookie camp back in early May, Jones said that the Steelers 3-4 defense includes a lot of the same stuff he played in college only with different terminology, and that he was getting the concepts of it. However, a few weeks later at the end of the Steelers second OTA session last week, Jones told Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider that playing outside linebacker in the Steelers 3-4 compared to the 3-4 he played at Georgia isn\’t perhaps going to be as easy as he might have thought several weeks ago.
“No, no, it ain’t no cakewalk, ain’t going to be no cakewalk,” Jones told Wexell. “I understand that I played a 3-4 in college, but here it’s more complex. It’s a pro defense and I’ve got to adjust to it; I’ve got to learn it.”
Following the selection of Jones by the Steelers in the first-round of the 2013 NFL Draft, I predicted, that baring injury, Jones would likely end his rookie season with around 100 snaps of playing time on defense because of where I expected him to be on the depth chart. While 200 plus snaps might not be totally out of the question, you would have to figure that Worilds would really have to fall flat on his face in the first half the season as the starter in order for that to happen.
As far as Worilds goes as he heads into his first season as the starter, Foote said that unproven guys such as him need to step up if the Steelers are going to get back to the playoffs in 2013.
“We lost some guys this year and last year, so it\’s unknown guys who need to step up if we\’re going to go far,” said Foote. “There are some unknown guys who have to step up and play big time for us.”