Broderick Jones Talks Adjusting To NFL, New Steelers Teammates

Draft day was Broderick Jones’ first leap into the NFL. Friday was its reality. Jones and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie class (along with select first-year players and tryout candidates) hit the practice field for Day One of the team’s three-day rookie minicamp that runs through the weekend. Speaking to reporters after practice, Jones talked about his initial impressions on a new league and a new group of teammates.

“I don’t feel like it’ll be easy but I don’t feel like it’ll be extremely hard,” Jones said of the jump to the NFL, as tweeted by The Trib’s Joe Rutter. “Just something I gotta get comfortable with.”

Even coming from a college football powerhouse like Georgia, the NFL is still a different world. It’s facing the best of the best every week. No longer will Jones’ team simply be the more talented one or the one with seemingly endless resources other schools, even ones in the SEC, don’t have. And for all of Jones’ talent, he is a relatively raw offensive tackle who will be tasked with taking on some of the NFL’s best pass rushers. With the Steelers’ schedule released yesterday, if Jones starts, he’ll be facing plenty of Nick Bosa in Week One followed by Myles Garrett in Week Two. There’s no easing into the league.

Jones also told reporters he’s getting to know his new teammates, too.

“I know a couple. Not ‘know them know them’ but I know of them,” he said. “So just being around the guys, getting to know them, getting to know everybody’s name…who they are, what they like, how they like to play.”

The bulk of Pittsburgh’s 90-man roster isn’t out on the practice field yet. That won’t happen until mid-May when the team starts OTAs with veterans joining rookies. Jones at least knows one man well, fellow Georgia rookie TE Darnell Washington, who spent much of his time in 2022 aligning next to Jones.

It’s also a chance for Jones to get to know his positional coach Pat Meyer. As captured by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Ray Fittipaldo, Meyer worked with Jones throughout practice. As you can see at the end of the clip, Jones is working independent hands on his punch in pass protection. In most cases, Meyer prefers using that as opposed to the older-school two-hand jam that’s more vulnerable to missing and whiffing.

For these first three days, Jones will begin laying the groundwork of his NFL career. It’s less about evaluating the quality of his play than him getting used to how a Steelers practice functions, the basics of the playbook, and the foundation of how Meyer teaches o-line play. All to give him the best chance possible to eventually win the Week One job.

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