Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones had perhaps the best game of his career in the team’s Week 7 loss to the New England Patriots as the former first round draft pick registered 7 total tackles in addition to a forced fumble that he also recovered. He also drew a few holding calls as well. During his weekly segment on Steelers Nation Radio, Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Keith Butler commented on Jones’ play against the Patriots.
“He played well for us,” Butler told Missi Matthews. “That just tells me that he can do it all the time. If he can do it once, he can do it again.”
Even though Jones played well against the Patriots, Butler indicated that the linebacker still needs to improve some in certain areas of his game.
“My thing with him is he’s got a ton of God-given talent that he needs to be using and he needs to understand the mental part a little bit better, and be a little bit more aware of things that are going on around him,” Butler said. “Situational football and stuff like that he can get a lot better at and we’re just trying to motivate him to get better in those areas.”
Being as Jones is playing well right now we can probably expect him to receive the lion’s share of snaps at right outside linebacker moving forward into the second half the regular season. With that said, that lion’s share isn’t likely to exceed 60% of the total defensive snaps during any one game barring injuries.
For most of his career, Jones has played well against the run. However, he still only has 5 career sacks in the 33 regular season games that he’s played in since arriving in Pittsburgh and none so far this season.
This coming Sunday, Jones will likely be lined up across from Baltimore Ravens rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who has missed the last four games with a foot injury. It would be nice to see Jones completely dominate that matchup for a change and at the very least register several pressures on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in addition to help shutting down runs to his side.
Jones, who failed to have his fifth-year option picked up by the Steelers this past offseason, is now scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2017. A solid showing by him during the second half of the 2016 season is greatly needed and that includes him finally showing that he can consistently get after opposing quarterbacks.