The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted OLB Jarvis Jones in the first round of the 2013 to pair with LaMarr Woodley mostly because of one thing. Jones was known in college for getting to the quarterback and tallied 28.5 sacks in only two seasons at Georgia. That being said, the Steelers are notorious for allowing their rookies to sit and develop no matter where they were taken. A lot of fans were up and down during the offseason on whether or not the team would even give Jones the opportunity to play much in his rookie season given the incumbent Jason Worilds. The worry was whether or not Jones would be able to learn the defense and if he would hold up against the run.
Four weeks into the Steelers’ season, Jones is the starting OLB and in my opinion, he has held up very well in the run game. Unfortunately for the Steelers, we have yet to see the passing rushing skill that Jones displayed in college. The Steelers as a team only have four sacks on the 2013 season and three of those have come from LaMarr Woodley. There have been times where Jones looks like he has been getting close, and getting completely held, but he has yet to actually get to the quarterback.
It has been well documented that the Steelers have a grand total of zero takeaways so far on the season and a huge part of this is lack of a pass rush. It’s no secret that if you can make a quarterback uncomfortable in the pocket he is liable to put the ball on the ground or throw it up for grabs. I mean look what has happened to Ben Roethlisberger when he has been getting killed in some of these games. The Steelers need to start causing that type of havoc in opposing backfields instead of being pushed around the field. With Woodley being the only real pass rushing threat also, teams are able to focus their protection to his side.
The team needs someone on defense to start creating splash plays and start taking the football away. Jarvis Jones has been given a huge opportunity as a rookie in the Steelers’ defense to do what he does best. It’s time for Jones to final get there, bring the quarterback down and hopefully get the football on the ground. Let’s hope that this week against the Jets we see Geno Smith under duress more than what the Steelers have been able to force the first four weeks.
Statistics from Sports-Reference.com.