Breakdown Of Steelers QB Landry Jones Versus Redskins

By Alex Kozora

A breakdown of every pass Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones attempted against the New York Giants.

First Drive

Completions/Attempts: 4/6

Attempts Under Center/From Shotgun: 3/3


– 1st and 10, 3:42 3rd. Shotgun, 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE). Trips Bunch Left. Throws crosser behind Derek Moye and the pass falls incomplete.

– 3 and 10, 3:00. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. Hard to see any routes downfield. Jamie McCoy and Alvester Alexander on block/release. Checks down and hits McCoy who makes one man miss and pick up the first down.

– 1st and 10, 2:18. 21. Four man rush. Five step with a hitch. Complete on a go route to Markus Wheaton for a 45 yard pickup. But the pass had too much loft on it and Wheaton had to slow down to make the grab, allowing the cornerback he beat to catch up with him and save a touchdown.

– 1st and 10, 1:30. 12. Four man rush. Miscommunication between him and Moye. Jones throwing the out/comeback with Moye looking to run a skinny post. May have stemmed from the Redskins rotating from a two deep to single high safety look right before the snap. Hard to say who was at fault though.

– 2nd and 10, 1:23. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. The play I mentioned in my game recap that I did really like from Jones. Kelvin Beachum beat around the edge and Jones feels the rush. But he climbs the pocket, keeps his eyes downfield, and hits Moye on a crosser. The footwork wasn’t perfect but in that situation, with pressure and a short throw to an open receiver, I’ll take avoiding the rush and completing the pass.

Steelers Redskins Landry Jones animated gif

– 4th and 1, 15:00 4th. Playaction. 22 personnel. Spot route (curl + flat) hitting Moye on the curl for a TD. Threw off his back foot but on 4th down, the goal is to get the ball out ASAP before the defense can drop back.

Second Drive

Completions/Attempts: 1/3

Center/Shotgun: 1/2


– 2nd and 8, 12:59 2nd. 21. Playaction booth to the right. Michael Palmer in the flat, hard to tell what route Moye initially runs. And it’s tough to tell if Jones threw it out of bounds or tried to stick it on the sideline to Moye, working back to the QB. Hopefully the former because there was no window to squeeze the ball in but regardless, the ball is thrown out of bounds without Moye able to make a play on it.

– 3rd and 8, 12:52. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. Divide motion with Wheaton, splits the difference between McCoy on the line and Justin Brown. Ball comes out right after Jones’ hitch to Wheaton on a curl, who dives for a first down. But the play is called back on an illegal hands to the face penalty and the throw negated. Still counting the play.

– 3rd and 18, 12:46. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush with the tackles on a cross stunt. Pressure off the blindside and he again begins to climb the pocket. But I think some panic sets in as his internal clock starts to go off. Doesn’t reset his feet on his checkdown to Jamie McCoy. The pass should have been caught but it was high. Jones’ base is way off (picture below). And while hindsight is 20/20, Jones still had time to keep his eyes downfield before hitting his checkdown.


Fourth Drive

Completions/Attempts: 0/2

Center/Shotgun: 1/1


– 2nd and 9, 9:30 4th. 12, playaction. Nearly intercepted by Jerome Murphy. The camera angle makes it really difficult to decipher what Jones saw but one of two things at play.

1. Shouldn’t have thrown the ball as late as he did and the cornerback had time to break on the route

2. Thrown it to the inside shoulder but instead, threw it outside.

– 3rd and 9, 9:24. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. Stunt from the DTs. McCoy on a curl. May have been miscommunication or just a bad throw as it sails over the TE. Some wobble on it too.

Fifth Drive

Completions/Attempts: 1/3

Center/Shotgun: 1/2


– 1st and 10, 7:17 4th. 12. Five man rush and a five step drop. Guy Whimper beat to the inside by 333 pound Chris Baker off the snap. Jones forced to almost immediately scramble and then tosses it at Alvester Alexander’s feet. Sucks too because there was a lot of pre-snap rotation with the FS walking down and then bailing on the snap. Would have been a good test for Jones. Especially when working under center. Has the QB built the muscle memory to quickly drop and read a defense?

– 3rd and 10, 7:11. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. John Gruden broke this one down pretty nicely on ESPN so I won’t add much. Tries to throw an out to Justin Brown vs corner that is still in his backpedal. Cornerback reads it the whole way, jumps the route, and if he holds onto the pass, it’s an easy pick six. Either Jones can’t throw that ball at all (preferred) or if he does, it has to come out much sooner. The later, the easier it is for the cornerback to break on the ball.

Steelers Redskins Landry Jones animated gif

– 3rd and 15, 7:04. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. Checkdown complete to Wheaton on a curl.

Sixth Drive

Completions/Attempts: 0/2

Center/Shotgun: 0/3


– 1st and 10, 3:13 4th. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. Throws to Brown on quick out but the pass is too far to the left and bounces off a lunging Brown’s hands. Really didn’t drive the ball very well here and his footwork mechanics are shoddy. The angle does make it tricky (why the All-22 is a Godsend) but his base is narrow. His front foot should be out in front to have proper weight transfer from his back to front foot. Otherwise you don’t get proper velocity on the throw. Picture below.


– 2nd and 10, 3:10. Shotgun, 11. Five man rush. Line breaks down, Chris Hubbard beat to the inside and a swarm of three Redskins bring Jones to the grass. The line doesn’t help him out but I think Jones rolled out too quickly here. There’s a pocket he can climb the pocket it. That’s preferred over rolling out because you take away half the field and it allows the ends to easily break free from the lineman and join in on the rush. Climb the pocket, side step if you have to, and keep your eyes downfield. Picture of the pocket he could have stepped into.


Not an easy play, but the ones you have to make at this level. Won’t always get a clean pocket.

– 3rd and 22, 2:44. Shotgun, 12. Four man rush. Go route to Moye that is well out of bounds, no chance for Moye to even make an attempt on it. Tough down/distance but one thing I didn’t like was Jones staring Moye down. Lets the safety read him the whole way and if the throw would have been on target, the safety is taking Moye’s head off. In the NFL, you’re no longer to throwing to open receivers but open spots. And sometimes you have to manipulate the safety to create those spots.

Seventh Drive

Completions/Attempts: 4/7

Center/Shotgun: 0/6


– 1st and 10, 2:14 4th. Shotgun, 11. Five man rush. Joe Long gets beat really badly. No chance for Jones to climb here. Forced to roll out to his right and actually makes a nice throw on the run, nearly completing it to Alexander on the sideline. Good throw that only shows up as an incomplete pass in the box score.

– 2nd and 10, 2:06. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. A tad in front but good throw to lead McCoy on out route, who hauls in the pass and dives for a first down.

– 1st and 10, 1:59. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush with DTs cross stunting. A dangerous throw he shouldn’t have made, trying to hit Moye on an out. OLB is dropping into hook zone and usually will sink to protect curl and force the flat (especially late in the game up by two scores). Cornerback over the top.  Jones tries to force the throw in. It’s magically tipped by the OLB and into Moye’s hands. Probably would have been picked by a more talented OLB than a 3rd stringer late in a preseason game. Justin Brown on a dig would have been a much better option.

Steelers Redskins Landry Jones animated gif

– 1st and 10, 1:37. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. Screen to Wheaton who takes the scenic route for no gain. Rookies…

– 2nd and 10, 1:22. Shotgun, 11. Five man rush. High snap from John Malecki. Incomplete on curl to McCoy. More miscommunication between the two and you can see them gesturing to each other after the play. Looked like Jones was expecting McCoy to settle down but the tight end runs away from the linebacker.

– 3rd and 10, 1:18. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. Pressure up the “A” gap so he quickly hits Brown on a drag.

– 4th and 5, :55. Shotgun, 11. Four man rush. Seems to read the whole field (or he could just be staring down Justin Brown on a crosser) and then comes back to his left. Nothing available and with pressure coming his way he fires it over the middle. It’s tipped away and that’s the game.


Completions/Attempts: 10/23 (one sack)

Center/Shotgun: 6/17

Watching the game live, I thought Jones had a good game. But after re-watching and combing through it, it was an average to below average performance. There were only a handful of “plus” plays and he didn’t make a throw that wowed me all night. Showed an average arm and his footwork only compound that problem (of course, when those get cleaned up, his throws will gain velocity). He had trouble reading defenses, his pocket presence was average at most, and he should have been intercepted two or three times. Still a long ways to go, of course, and he didn’t run into his own running back (progress!) but a pretty poor day for the fourth rounder. The box score should have looked even worse.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • dennisdoubleday

    Brown didn’t sell “deep” too well on the near pick on the out. A better deep fake would have prevented the CB jumping it.

  • Kevin SFIC

    My thoughts exactly. Terribly run route. Should have taken two more strides. The CB would have turned. Brown could plant and turn. Reception made. A rookie mistake this time.

  • Shea Fahr

    The young man is used to being in the shotgun constantly with a very quick offense. He has to learn a lot about the Pro Game but let’s face it, it was nice to finally score an offensive touchdown in the preseason. I am probably alone on this but I think he can turn out to be a dang solid backup QB in this League with more time and work.

  • Alex Kozora

    Depends on where the route is supposed to break. If that’s where it breaks, that’s where you have to plant and cut. And even if Brown did screw up, the corner isn’t flipping his hips so you can’t make that throw. Move onto your next read.

  • Shea Fahr


  • JohnnyV1

    I agree with you Alex, that’s the game I watched, just as you described it in your summary. Only one way to from here, up…hopefully.

  • bgsteelfan

    He has a LONG way to go. I think the tools are there, but he needs a lot of work.

  • bgsteelfan

    I agree. I don’t want him seeing the field this year, and maybe not next season, but I think the tools are there.

  • bgsteelfan

    “Move onto your next read.”

    THAT is Jones’s biggest problem. He doesn’t go beyond one read yet. I think the game is still way to fast for him.

  • cencalsteeler

    He improved 100% and looks a lot more comfortable in week #2. If he continues to improve and the game comes to him, Jones may turn out to be a gem.

  • cencalsteeler

    That shotgun quick offense may be the next hot thing in the NFL. Wild Cat, Read Option, Pistol, and the quick O input with Chip and the Eagles. It may be wise to play to his strength?! It seems offenses are having a trend of moving a lot faster these days.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yup. That last GIF is a prime example. On tape, I’m sure he’s kicking himself. Knows he shouldn’t have made that throw. Bracket coverage, can’t do it. Look for your #2. He doesn’t and should have been picked.

  • Intropy

    One thing I noticed him do a couple of times that I liked were these mostly throw away plays. A couple of times he got in a bad situation and did the smart thing by throwing it away. But the wrinkle is that he throws it away in such a manner so that a defender has zero play on the ball, but a receiver still has a small chance.

  • Shea Fahr

    A couple of Teams got into the playoffs last year using elements of it so yes, I agree. The NFL is ever changing…

  • Shea Fahr

    You are correct and it is fair to mention that he was running for his life the whole time.

  • bgsteelfan

    Funny, that play is exactly the one I was talking about (I didn’t realize it was in the gif also, just from memory) when I said that. It stuck out at my immediately at the time.

  • Madi

    I agree with everything you said, but one thing you didn’t mention is that he gets away with all of it if he makes an accurate pass. Too dangerous to throw anyway, perhaps, but that ball was way behind Brown, and that’s why it hit the CB in the hands. If he hangs it over the sideline it’s a completion.

  • Alex Kozora

    That’s a solid point. Should have been to the outside shoulder along the sideline. Put it only where your receiver can get it. Lot of work to do for Jones.

  • Madi

    By the way, great work with all of your breakdowns. I’ve done detailed stuff like this in the past just for fun, but don’t have time like I used to so I needed to find a good source. Your articles are definitely worth reading.

  • Jazz

    Landry Jones looked sharp in his second Preseason game. I’m curious to see if he will build onto it tonight.

  • Do you ever get the impression your comment often applies to the team’s starting QB? He certainly goes beyond one read, but is slow doing it. Coupled with a poor pass-blocking OL, spells trouble.

  • bgsteelfan

    You are right that he isn’t the best QB at reading the field from the pocket, but I don’t think it’s THAT bad.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    That is probably the result of playing in that college offense, catch the snap and throw it, in those offenses, the ave. distance the pass travels is less that 10 beyond the los. Not much if any reading by the qb, a habit that will be hard to break, for a pocket qb. guys like manzeil and rg3 just took off and ran if the pass was not there most of the time.

  • The Chiefs have four QBs. One (at least) won’t make their roster and any of the four are probably more NFL-ready than Landry Jones (according to this breakdown). I hope Colbert isn’t wedded to his ego re the L. Jones draft pick.

    Chiefs: Alex Smith, Tyler Bray, Chase Daniel, Rick Stanzi

    Likewise, the 49ers might eventually cut Colt McCoy (I doubt it…but he’d be a HUGE upgrade over L. Jones) or fellow 49er Scott Tolzien of Wisconsin…Ryan Katz of the Broncos (former teammate of M. Wheaton), has better physical tools than Jones and will soon be cut…if the Texans don’t keep 3 QBs on their 53, TJ Yates or Case Keenum would be a STEAL…the Dolphins currently have 5 QBs, including back-up Mike Kafta (who looked better than Vick when with the Eagles)…and btw, the Seahawks already cut Jerrod Johnson, who’s currently available for the price of a plane ticket to Pittsburgh. Just sayin’.

    The following link (if you’re curious) is to a report of the Texans’ back-up QBs. I watched this game on NLl live and they’re impressive. We know what Yates can do, and Keenum performed very well against the Phins first team.

  • numbah58

    I think you’re being a little tough on the “rook” Alex. That performance was vastly improved over the 1st preseason game.

  • Jakob

    A good backup for Ben and the Tod Haley offense

  • Last year, with our season still very much alive but hanging by a thread, our third team QB beat the eventual SB champions in Baltimore. What would you rate our chances if the same scenario unfolds this year or next with L. Jones?

    Over the last four years, Charlie Batch had to start twice against the Ravens, Leftwich once, and once for Dennis Dixon. All were highly competitive games although we lost three by close scores. Will Landry Jones have the skills, composure, and leadership to beat the Ravens once if he plays start to finish in every Ravens game the next four years (…because Ben WILL miss games again and so will Bruce G)? That’s why the Steelers need an NFL-ready 3rd team QB who’s ready to play THIS year, a.s.a.p., and hopefully by week two in Cincinnati.

    Until the Steelers offensive can prove through consistent performances that it won’t blow up again like it did in D.C., the Steelers cannot afford to waste roster spots with “developmental” QB projects. That’s why Leftwich (when he was healthy) and Charlie Batch were so valuable–they fit our needs so well for immediate, competent QB leadership at a moment’s notice with entire seasons at stake.

  • Did you notice Bruce G getting up slowly and wincing after being pin-balled a couple times against the Chiefs? I held my breath while thinking, “we’re one hit away from L. Jones starting the season as our #1 back-up. Talk about a ‘season on the brink!’