You probably would’ve had to see it to believe it.
After coming off of the bench in the second half for injured Pittsburgh Steelers starter Mike Vick, backup quarterback Landry Jones completed 8-of-12 pass attempts for 168 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Steelers to a 25-13 win over the visiting Arizona Cardinals.
Sunday, Jones looked nothing like the quarterback who struggled for most of the last three preseasons as four or five of his eight total completions were key plays in the game. Two of those throws culminated in touchdowns to wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who made his 2015 debut Sunday.
Jones played a staggering 229 snaps during the preseason and after the game, head coach Mike Tomlin was sure to point that out during his post-game press conference.
“You know, Landry probably played more preseason snaps than any quarterback in the history of the National Football League this year,” said Tomlin. “We played in five preseason games, we had injuries at the position, he took advantage of it. He got better and it was displayed today. We’re thankful for that, obviously, it helped us secure victory.
“We’re happy for him. He had an opportunity to contribute in a big way and I know that’s something he’s been working tirelessly for. You don’t always have control of the opportunity, but when given an opportunity, you need to be prepared and I give him credit for that. He was prepared.”
Tomlin admitted that prior to Vick going down with a hamstring injury, he hadn’t considered replacing him with Jones.
So, what does this mean for the Steelers quarterback situation moving forward if starter Ben Roethlisberger still isn’t healthy enough to return to action?
“You know we got some options here, but we’ll deal with those at the appropriate time,” said Tomlin. “We’re just going to enjoy the efforts of all parties involved right now.”
Even though Tomlin won’t say it, he has to start Jones moving forward if Roethlisberger is unable to play. We’ll know more about Vick’s hamstring injury as next week progresses, but the veteran has simply been too ineffective in the games that he’s played in. Sunday, Vick completed just 3 of his 8 pass attempts for 6 yards before leaving the game.