A lot of eyes will be on Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones when the team dons the pads on Monday, but Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Sunday morning that the Georgia product has already impressed his teammates with his speed and athleticism so far during training camp.
Dulac says that Jones arrived at training camp weighing 248 pounds, which just so happens to be the same weight he was at both the NFL Combine and his Pro Day. While he is expected to put on weight over the course of the next few weeks, the needed bulk that Dulac expects him to add might take some time.
While weight and bulk seem to be the focus of Dulac\’s report, there still is the chore of learning the defense that might slow down Jones\’ ascension to the starting right outside linebacker spot more than anything else.
While he might be able to rush the passer off the edge, his ability to make his reads and adjust will be just as important as his need to show he can stand hold the edge against the run with NFL quality tackles attempting to turn him inside or out.
For now, impressed teammates or not, the starting spot belongs to Jason Worilds and Jones can\’t overtake him by simply looking good in shorts. With the padded practices and preseason games swiftly approaching, that is when Jones will really show the coaching staff whether or not he can become the Steelers first rookie defensive player since linebacker Kendrell Bell to open the regular season as a starter.