Due to his poor play Sunday in the loss to the Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones was demoted this past week on the latest depth chart behind Jason Worilds. However, just because he won't start, doesn't mean he won't still see the field, according to defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau during his Thursday talk with the media.
"Jarvis is a playmaker. I’ve got to find ways to put him in where he can make plays," said LeBeau, when asked if Jones will still be involved on defense moving forward.
Jones only played 10 snaps against the Raiders with only two coming in the second half. According to LeBeau, he should see more than that this Sunday when the Steelers take on the New England Patriots.
Jones is going through the growing pains that all young Steelers linebackers have gone through over the years that have played in the LeBeau system and the defensive coordinator made it clear that he believes the Georgia product on schedule.
"I don’t think he’s further ahead or behind where James Harrison was, Jason Worilds was or LaMarr Woodley was," said LeBeau. "I think Jarvis is going to be fine. I like to think he isn’t either ahead or behind of where a first-year linebacker should be."
While we don't know for sure just how LeBeau intends to use Jones going forward, Matthew Marczi pointed out Thursday in his post that both of Jones second half snaps came on third downs and that both he and Worilds were on the field together for those snaps along with fellow linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons.
This will certainly be something to watch for Sunday against the Patriots as the Steelers have to start shaking things up on the defensive side of the ball in an effort to create more sacks and turnovers. They will of course be going against Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who will certainly pick them apart if given time in the pocket to do so.
"You better be ready to stop Brady if you play New England," said LeBeau.