Though much maligned by Pittsburgh Steelers fans, Mike Tomlin says he’s been pleased with the work third-year outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has put in during the first four weeks.
“He’s been solid. I like the violence with which he’s played. His hands have been heavy. He’s done a nice job in the run game Hadn’t necessarily produced the numbers from a pressure or sack standpoint yet. But we’ve been doming some things particularly in the two weeks prior to Thursday that really minimized his rush opportunities. We were bringing the left outside linebacker probably three to four times more often than we were bringing the right outside linebacker,” Tomlin told the media Tuesday.
Through four games and 112 defensive snaps, Jones has yet to register a sack and has been credited with only one tackle for loss. For the season, he’s been asked to drop into coverage on 17 of 70 snaps, a tick under a quarter of the time, based on our charting. That will obviously hinder sack and pressure opportunities. This doesn’t even factor in the chipping and rerouting these outside linebackers are often asked to do, another factor in being unable to get to the quarterback.
Still, 3-4 outside linebackers will always be measured in their ability to get after the quarterback. And Jones has struggled to do that in his three years with the Steelers.
Tomlin did add he sees rush opportunities balancing out throughout the season.
“We’re going to do things that give us a chance to win. Over the course of sixteen plus games, I’m sure that’ll even itself out. He’ll have an opportunity to represent himself in that area as well.”