Mike Tomlin Says RB Felix Jones Helped His Cause In Loss To Panthers

Many people questioned the Pittsburgh Steelers decision to trade second-year outside linebacker Adrian Robinson to the Philadelphia Eagles last Friday for running back Felix Jones, but so far it looks like the black and gold now has a former first-round draft pick that is far from being done.

During his post game press conference following the Thursday night loss to the Carolina Panthers in the preseason finale, head coach Mike Tomlin praised the play of Jones in the game.

“I thought Felix Jones helped himself,” said Tomlin. “His pedigree showed. His natural run instincts showed. We’ll continue to look at it and go through the process in a proper manner once we get back to Pittsburgh.”

When Tomlin and the rest of the coaching staff do arrive back Pittsburgh, they will likely have to rest quickly as the final roster decisions will need to be made by Saturday evening. Being as Jonathan Dwyer fumbled once again against the Panthers, the team very well might decide to keep Jones instead of their former sixth-round draft pick.

The only way that both Jones and Dwyer make the final 53 man roster will be if the team decides to keep five running backs in total in addition to full back Will Johnson.

Tomlin is not one to easily throw around praise, so it’s easy to tell that Jones has certainly caught his eye.

  • Shea Fahr

    Felix certainly seems to have a bit better vision/decisions when it comes to his cuts ect…we shall know within 24 hours I suppose. I am good with either or both.

  • Jeff Whittum

    I don’t know why it seems to be taken for granted that Redman is safe and that the contest for a spot on the 53 is between Jones and Dwyer…Dwyer being the only back who has shown any capacity for being the go-to ball carrier, especially as far as health goes. I don’t like the fumbles either, but why so much grace shown to Redman – a guy who has yet to do anything spectacular.

    No hard feelings, of course, just venting a frustration with the RB talk. Love the show and love your insights. (just don’t always agree! =P )

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Im a Dwyer supporter but he has not helped himself dropping the ball twice in preseason. HB has a lot of talent and mistakes like that get you in the soup line quick!

  • Jeff Whittum

    No doubt, Shannon. The decision is hard (for all the wrong reasons), but I think all three of the potential feature backs are on thin ice and none can afford many mistakes. My vote of confidence in Dwyer is simply that he’s been the only one on the field for any length of time (besides these appearances by Jones since he was acquired). Therefore, the *starting* job is a battle perhaps between Jones and Dwyer but certainly the battle is not simply for a spot on the roster when none of the other backs have shown us anything but injuries.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He’s listed as a co-starter and Tomlin said he was held out so they could get a look at other guys because they already know (and thus are satisfied with) what he is capable of…if his roster spot were in jeopardy, he would have been playing.

  • Mark McHugh

    Felix Jones is my week one starter. Hopefully he can stay healthy tell Bell returns. I like LaRod but as a 3rd down back & return man only. I saw enough of Dwyer & Redman last year.

  • Jason Brant

    Because the team has made it abundantly clear that Redman isn’t going to be cut.

    Dwyer’s vision has been questionable this preseason. Add two fumbles and his inflated backup salary, and I think he might get his walking papers.

    I wish we could trade him for someone on the OL.

  • joed32

    Has Redman been practicing at all.

  • steeltown

    Regardless of what happens..I really like what I see from Felix Jones and LSH.. at this point between Dwyers fumbles and Redmans injuries I don’t care anymore which guy they keep. I’d go with Dwyer because he has stayed healthy and contributed, but I don’t really care.

    A Le’Veon Bell, Felix Jones and Larod Stephens-Howling stable is nice to have considering what we had last year (Redman, Dwyer and Batch)

  • Bradys_Dad

    Curious as to thoughts … would Dwyer be a better keep than LSH ?

  • Milliken Steeler

    I would rather keep Dwyer as he is young and with his quickness and potential when he finally “gets it” he’s gonna be good but……The second fumble and Coach Tomlin locking him in the dog house is probably gonna be the end for him. I hope Im wrong becuase while Felix has the pedigree, he gets hurt a lot.

  • Chris

    Let’s all be honest here, I have been watching them for years, and I am a die hard fan of them. But neither Dwyer or Redman are starting running backs on any other team out there. Redman is a better option for goal line and short yardage than Dwyer is. But they are not true 3 down backs at all. Yes they have their moments where they gain 8 yards but most of the time 1-3 yards a carry? I know it all starts with the O-Line….I do realize that. I just don’t see what Tomlin and the other coaches see in them, especially when the GM is complaining on having an 8-8 year and he is not happy. Well part of that is the Steelers don’t have a truely great RB. Bell could turn into one I hope, Jones will fill in nicely I think for the meantime and LSH will be ok as back up. I like the passing game but when you have no run game, it’s frustrating. Someone either the scouts or the coaches are dropping the ball when it comes to finding good RB prospects. That’s just my opinion.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    This is tough. Personally, I’d keep five RB until Bell is healthy. Dwyer is clearly working very hard, he has a lot of talent/potential, he’s young and durable, BUT…he seems destined to cough up the football sooner or later. It’s like those dry-erase boards that say “Number of Days Without an Accident.” You’re just holding your breath. I love Dwyer’s ability, but is 25 solid carries in a game worth a fumble on carry 26?

    Jones has MUCH better ball security, good cutting ability, and the ability to catch passes out of the backfield…but can we count on his durability? The injury history is there.

    Heal quickly, Le’Veon!!!

  • hp b

    Tomlin missed his true calling. At least for now.

  • Sensei3539

    All I can say is Goooooooooooooo Steelersssssssssssssss

  • cencalsteeler

    Nice post Chris, I share your same thoughts. Is Michael Turner out of reach for the Steelers? Le’Veon, Turner, and LSH would sure make a nice combo. back there.

  • Jason Brant

    Tomlin clearly doesn’t see a lot in them. That’s why they drafted Bell, signed LSH, cut Batch, and traded for Jones.

    Seems pretty obvious they weren’t happy with their backs.

  • Jason Brant


  • steeltown

    Agreed. I think that fumble last night might have sealed the deal. Prior to that he was on track to acquiring a roster spot.

    I’ll say this though, if the decision is ultimately to release Dwyer and has always been to keep Redman based purely on his past performance I sure as hell hope Redman has a GOOD year otherwise the coaching staff will certainly look foolish for giving him a roster spot after not participating at all (save 2 carries) in preseason

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    I agreed with the 5RB statement before last night, but it now appears LSH is healthy and Redman is seemingly healthy as well, if Will Johnsons hamstring is minor they might not need 5RBs

  • steeltown

    Earlier in training camp, yes

    From what I gauge of the situation, if it was the regular season Redman wouldve played last night

  • Bob Graff

    Cut Dwyer and Redman go out and sign Mcgahee. A stable of Mcgahee Jones and Howling is better than what they are planning. And there are no guarantees that Bell is a top flight NFL back. it’s like waiting for the the prize in a cracker jack box you just don’t know.

  • charles

    Dwyer’s fumbles have put two 6’s on his door, Tomlin has made clear in the past that inability to take care of the ball really ticks him off. Talent be damned if you can’t hang on to the ball.

  • charles

    Excellent post. Can Jones can stay healthy is a big questiin, but if he does we would have gotten two number ones this year.

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    Do not have short memories… Jones is injury and fumble prone!! We need to do to him what Philly did to Robinson.
    I say keep both Dwyer and Redman if you are not going to do the extensions this year.