First-round pick Broderick Jones has already been through a handful of Pittsburgh Steelers’ practices but Tuesday was the offensive tackle’s first day on the field with the entire roster, not just his rookie peers. Jones appeared to work as the team’s second-team left tackle, not surprising for a rookie challenging a more established player like Dan Moore Jr., and to pass him, he’ll have to get the “ok” from OL Coach Pat Meyer.
Speaking to reporters following practice, Jones talked about working with Meyer.
“It’s pretty good,” he said in video from Steelers.com. “Just having him detailing all the little things, it helps a lot. I just take it all in, soak it all up, and try to perfect it every day.”
Meyer was hired in 2022 to be the team’s new o-line coach, replacing the instability that had come with Adrian Klemm, who left before the 2021 season even ended to take a job at Oregon. Meyer has shown to be the right man for the job. A true teacher who doesn’t yell or audibly chew players out (not publicly, anyway), he’s taken on the challenge of Pittsburgh reinventing its offensive line with a mix of rookies and veterans. Jones is the latest addition, an athletic but raw prospect out of Georgia who only served as full-time starter for one year. Meaning there’s plenty of coaching to be done.
Jones has the right mindset, repeating a line he said during rookie minicamp of taking things day-by-day.
“Just be the best version of me…show up every day, give 110% and keep grinding.”
While Jones is the team’s first-round pick and those selections typically don’t sit for long, he won’t be handed the starting job. Moore has progressed at left tackle and more importantly, Jones has plenty to adjust to. Beyond the obvious — an inexperienced college starter making the jump to the NFL — Meyer’s system has a learning curve to it. That was evident last year. Nearly the entire front five took their lumps adjusting to his teaching, especially his aggressive on/off-body pass sets, which led to some ugly reps in the summer.
It means Jones isn’t guaranteed to be the starting left tackle when Pittsburgh’s season opens, especially knowing the Steelers will be facing San Francisco’s Nick Bosa Week One and Cleveland’s Myles Garrett Week Two. Jones could still win the job, he’s probably still the favorite, but how quickly he picks up Meyer’s coaching will determine how quickly Jones sees the field.