Judging by the various media reports during training camp, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Landry Jones hasn\’t necessarily set the trees on fire at Saint Vincent College. In his NFL debut, last Saturday night against the New York Giants, Jones didn\’t spark any kindling either as he was 5-of-9 passing for 48 yards with a botched handoff that resulted in a safety on his very first play in the game.
Despite him not looking worthy of a fourth-round selection at this point, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Friday in an interview with 93.7 The Fan that the Oklahoma product is still adjusting to the professional game.
“So far Landry is progressing,” said Colbert. “He has to learn the anticipation, the speed, and he even talked about; it\’s not so much the cornerbacks at this level, but the linebackers close a lot of those passing lanes and windows that might have been available in college. And he has to learn how to anticipate and maximize the opportunities to come, when they come, and to wait for things, and its an adjustment for anybody.”
Jones, who is now listed as the third quarterback on the depth chart heading into the Steelers second preseason game against the Washington Redskins, figures to get more opportunities Monday night and Colbert said that\’s all part of the development process.
“I think he\’s gotten better from the OTAs to training camp to the game the other night,” he said. “He did some good things; he did some things that I\’m sure he wants back, and that\’s what this is about.”
The Steelers obviously didn\’t draft Jones to play any time soon as not only is Ben Roethlisberger not going anywhere, his backup Bruce Gradkowski was signed for three years in addition. Jones has plenty of time to sit back and learn, and the experience he gets over the course of the next few preseason games will be invaluable. Just as Jones has to wait for things in the passing game, so too does the fan base as far as his development goes.