Mike Tomlin Says Jarvis Jones Will Play On Defense Against The Titans

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin let it be known Tuesday during his press conference that rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones will indeed play some on defense Sunday in the season opener against the Tennessee Titans.

“Jones is going to play,” Tomlin said when asked if he would use a three man rotation at outside linebacker line was used during the preseason.

Jones practiced on Monday according to Tomlin and is feeling good after suffering a sprained chest in the third preseason game. Despite his readiness, Tomlin did say that Jason Worilds would start at right outside linebacker.

It is still unclear just how much playing time Jones will see on defense Sunday, but you can tell that Tomlin intends on working him in nonetheless. That could result in us seeing the same type of rotation that we saw during the preseason even though outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley told Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider that we shouldn’t read too much into what we saw during the preseason.

Perhaps someone needs to tell Woodley that he might get a few plays off on Sunday so that he isn’t shocked when it happens.

  • steeltown


  • Jeff Johnson

    Great to hear that he will play some

  • dgh57

    Great finally some info “straight from the horses mouth” in regards to whether J. Jones will play or not!

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Woodley is going to be a beast this year. The only reason he comes off the field for Worilds is to give him a breather for a play or 2.

  • cencalsteeler

    Can someone please help me on this one? During Tomlins pc, it was asked if Mesko would be holding for Suisham, and Mikes reply was yes. I know I asked this last week, but why wouldn’t you have Gradkowski or Landry Jones hold for Shaun. If there is a bad snap, this now makes Mesko your quarterback. I’m not understanding this and it makes sense to have a back up qb to hold for if the play is broken. Bruce is a great scrambling qb and a good runner, one would think he would fit that mold perfectly.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I believe this has been the norm for most teams now to have the P hold the ball for the kicker but I am with you. It does make more sense to have a guy who can throw and run and keep the other ST more honest. I am sure there is a good reasoning for it though.

  • steeltown

    Oddly enough, when Gradkowski was a freshman at Toledo his only action was as a holder on special teams….

    Im with you on this

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Early in the year there is a little bit more subing in and out because players are still getting their wind for the game up. Normally by week 3-4 that will end. It is also hotter too which will tire the players out more quickly.

  • steeltown

    I would imagine so as to not get your backup QB injured on a bad snap where all he can do is fall on the ball and everyone crashes down on top of him… I guess

  • Arthur Branch

    Its probably because the kicker is more comfortable with Mesko. I’d rather get the three points, than have a QB running around with no chance of completing a pass on most botched snaps.

  • cencalsteeler

    Well, there you go! Most field goal teams have a designated play for if a bad snap occurs, and it happens as most of us have witnessed. Blockers release and head toward the end zone or the holder has the second option of taking it to the house. Bruce to me, is that guy. I vision one of two things. Mesko bobbling the bad snap and the defense picks up the ball and takes it down to score. Or, you put the ball in Bruce’s hands and he gives you a better chance to turn a bad snap into a positive play, possibly putting 6 on the board.

  • Kolie Oak

    It must suck for players like Worilds and Dwyer, its like Clyde “the glyde” Drexler, thinking why did Jordan have to be in my time????

  • cencalsteeler

    Mesko was just signed. How can Suisham be more comfortable with him? This combo of Bruce or Landry should’ve been implemented from day one. And, I trust Bruce or Landry receiving snaps more than I do Mesko, JMO.

  • treeher

    You want the guy with the best hands, and the punter is used to catching the center snaps. Out of 100 snaps, you might get 10% or less off target enough that the holder has it up and running. I’d opt for the 90%.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Probably because the special teams unit practices as a unit, while the QBs are off doing their thing too. Even though you see many backup QBs as holders, expecting a QB to spend extra time working on holding might be asking too much. Maybe holding is a talent that comes naturally to some, but I’d imagine K/P’s would have much more experience doing it, since they’re probably doing it much more in practice.

  • cencalsteeler

    Your point is valid, but if it comes down to the D scoring 6 or us scoring 6, I’d make it a point for a qb. to make time to practice with the kicker. Brown, Wheaton and LSH serve dual purposes, so should the back up qb., IMO.

  • Putter

    I imagine Landry Jones will be watching most (all) games in street clothes so he wouldn’t be a good choice for holder…need the helmet for a special teams player

  • cencalsteeler

    A punter is used to receiving snaps 10-15 yards away. A field goal snap is more in the range of a shotgun distance at 5-7 yards, I’d go with the qb, personally.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Well, you’d have to imagine a QB would only be useful back there for a fake field goal or extra point. The chances of something good happening off a bad snap must be incredibly small. Therefore, you’d have to look at the percentages of field goals or extra points that are faked as well as the percentage of these attempts that are successful. I would have no clue about those stats, but I’d imagine the likelihood of either is also very small, so then it comes down to taking away practice time for a QB or having the snapper, punter, and kicker working together exclusively.

  • dgh57

    You have to consider what message you would be sending your opponent if you had a QB as your holder? They would most likely be expecting a fake FG. The reason you try a fake FG in the 1st place is because of the element of surprise and it wouldn’t be there with a QB back there. I would think holders practice their passing arm for possible fake/blocked FGs, and bad snaps. Now there is a possible upside to having QB as your holder in that they wouldn’t be trying as hard to block your FG. So you have to weigh whether taking the risk is worth possible injury to your backup QB.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    In general, a punter should be more skilled at seeing, receiving, and adjusting to, an errant long snap. The thinking here is, Mesko can help avoid or correct a bad snap (and still get the kick away) more often than a back up QB will have to make a play (on a non kick botched snap).

  • steeltown


  • Bilge

    Nope, the third QB is always dressed for actions. Because of new rules, they can be available.

  • Putter

    Hmmm….thanks for the clarification. For some reason, I thought the rule change meant that the goofy rules around when a 3rd QB could be used were gone but if you gave him a slot on the 45 it counts as one body. (which you’d like to have for a special teamer or a backup lineman)

  • joed32

    Butler was the holder until he was cut.

  • Joe Bu

    Not sure why the holder debate comments showed up on a story about Jarvis Jones but:

    1. How many times have we really seen bad snaps out of Greg Warren – not many
    2. How many times on bad snaps in the NFL does the holder actually make a positive play for a 1st down – 2% ?? QB or not.

    3. The backup QB’s need all the time they can get working with the offense and I’m not sure on practice rules outside of no pads/contact once a week – So the backup QB’s might not be able to put in “Extra Time” holding for FG

    4. Punters are a dime a dozen and easily replaceable if you want to play the injury scenario – Backup QB’s are not as easily found.

  • Matt Searls

    did you listen to the press conference? go to 10:50 and tomlin is asked about the kick and punt return situation, he says “we are going to start the kick off return with la rod stephens howling, and of course jarvis jones will be back there with him. and in the punt return we’ll have antonio brown and marcus wheaton.” am i missing something? theres no way jones is returning kicks

  • NW86

    They CAN be, if the team chooses to dress them as one of the 46, but they rarely are. Many teams don’t even carry a #3QB, the Steelers do but they don’t dress the 3rd one on game days, they use that extra spot for someone who can play special teams, like Putter said.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Oh my, you are forgetting the dude that held for Gus the mule. OITCH!

  • Eddy

    Tomlin probably meant to say Felix Jones.

  • Matt Searls

    Yeah I thought about that right after I posted it haha. The awkward silence after he said that was funny though

  • steeltown

    Yea Felix.. I noticed he said that too and nobody questioned it further, but he meant Felix

    You can tell they’re serious about their return game, theyre not messing around, A.Browns going to return some punts which I cringe at because of the money invested and I don’t want him hurt, but at the same time I smile because he’s pretty electric and will help with field position for sure

  • alex

    enough punter blather, this is about JJ and the fact that in professional sports, if youre not getting young minutes youre gonna go backwards…

    Jones most definitely has ‘it’…coach knows it, and we all know it…

    it all makes me wonder about Worilds, because he has played a low number of snaps in his career, but his numbers have still been good…if JJ doesnt motivate him to produce, then its the slag heap for him!

    anyway, bring on the snap count for these kids…in the right game at the right time, let them learn now!

  • Ahmad

    It’s not a start for Jone but close enough in my book. He’s done more than any rookie defender since Bell and that’s saying something. Besides Woodley may not like it but a 3 man rotation will keep him fresher throughout games and the season.