Pittsburgh Steelers: Will Jarvis Jones excel this season?

For the second straight year, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted a linebacker with their first pick of the NFL Draft. This season they opted to take Ryan Shazier, out of Ohio State.

[Shazier a shocker- grading the Steelers’ first-rounder]

While Shazier will hog plenty of the spotlight this offseason, let’s swing the focus to last year’s first rounder, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones.

Jones is coming off a lackluster rookie season. High expectations were knocked down after the rookie linebacker only managed to account for one sack last season. He looked like a rookie for almost all of the season.

Jones apparently had a difficult time understanding the defense. That’s understandable though, Dick LeBeau’s system is complex and for a rookie to catch on immediately would be something special. Still, there were higher expectations for Jones than just one sack.

Now the expectations continue to grow and season two has to be a better one for Jones.

The Steelers’ defensive play will be a main point this season. After last season’s disappointment, this side of the ball will need familiar guys like Jones and Jason Worilds to make an impact. The team will also look at rookies like Shazier and sixth round pick, linebacker Jordan Zumwalt out of UCLA to help better the pass rush.


The Steelers took to the draft to improve their defensive front. They went heavy on linebackers when most thought they would draft for the secondary. The Steelers believe that the front end will help the back end.

If they want that help, Jones will need to have better production this season. He’ll have help. The Steelers have brought back former linebacker Joey Porter to help coach guys like Jones.Pittsburgh Steelers

Keith Butler, the Steelers’ linebacker’s coach, compared Jones to Joey Porter, saying they were almost the same player.

I can’t say I totally buy into that. Porter was a loud mouth player who was immensely productive during his time in Pittsburgh. Jones has only played one season, but I don’t sense the same kind of attitude from young Jones.

Trash talking and having a nickname like “J-Peezy,” doesn’t get you where you need to be, so Jones may be bit more quiet but he can still have the same abilities Porter once displayed.

Now that he has a season under his belt, Jones will be expected to understand the defense and cut down on mistakes such as not knowing where to line up.

Jone will have a better season than last. The Steelers should see better stats from this young linebacker and with the help of Porter he’s bound to make a bigger impression.

What say you? Will Jones have a comeback or find himself in the sophomore slump?

  • stillerlady

    I’m not convinced that Jarvis will ever live up to a first round pick or even be around a couple years down the line. He was supposed to put on more weight and according to him he wasn’t able to. He was supposed to get stronger, well we’ll have to wait and see. He may look like another Joey but Joey was strong, tough, aggressive, and had a powerful burst. I don’t see that in Jarvis. I hope he does live up to a first round pick, but I’m very leery about it. Hopefully Sean can become the same player he was before getting hurt, maybe we can have him play that spot.

  • Bob Graff

    There are many people that believe Jones will step it up this year. I too think he will get better but how much. I really think that this year is going to show just how good the Steelers front office is. [funny thing i said the same thing last year] Stay tuned 2014 NFL is right around the corner.

  • brent

    While he didn’t get as many snaps I believe Porter’s rookie season he had 2 sacks and then exploded onto the scene in his 2nd year.

    • brent

      Oh and yes I think Jones is going to have a very good year. He was undersized and didn’t really have an inside move. Looking at pictures he looks bigger this year and hopefully Porter is working with him on his inside move.