Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was interviewed Monday by 93.7 The Fan and was asked to critique the play Saturday of rookies Jarvis Jones and Shamarko Thomas in the preseason opener against the New York Giants.
“We’re pleased with what we’ve seen so far,” LeBeau said about his young draft picks. “I thought they both did fine for the opening game. We obviously like them or we wouldn’t have drafted them. I think that they have an opportunity to be good NFL players, and we’ll see where they take that opportunity.”
LeBeau was then asked to comment specifically on Jones, and whether or not he will be used on defense as a rookie to get after the passer.
“No doubt, no doubt,” said LeBeau. “He has it and we intend to let him use it.”
Just because LeBeau intends on using Jones as a rookie, doesn\’t mean he has given up on fourth-year linebacker Jason Worilds, however.
“I like Jason. He\’s an aggressive guy,” said LeBeau. “We drafted him because of his upfield speed. Through no fault of his, there was the lockout his first year, so he missed that whole year offseason and he did have the hand injury that hurt him in last year\’s training camp.
“This was really just his first full training camp that he could really begin to get his teeth into the defense, and I think injury wise he\’s very sound now. He\’s completely heeled, and I thought he played well in the first game, and I\’ve been pleased with what I\’ve seen from him. We\’re going to need those young guys to grow and give us the outside presence in our defense.”
At the conclusion of every season, a large group of the fan base insists that LeBeau retire. He was asked yet again on Monday if he thinks 2013 will be his final season, and his response was one that will likely make that large portion of delusional fans upset.
“I just go one year at a time,” he said. “I feel great. They still want me to do it, and the defense is productive. As long as those conditions exist, and I don’t feel like I’m holding them back, I love what I do, I love these guys, I love the Steelers. Whenever the day comes, it’s going to be a tough one, so I just assume hold it off for a while.”