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Jarvis Jones Knows He Must Get Bigger And Stronger


While Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones has shown some signs of development over the course of the season, but there’s no denying that he’s been pretty much invisible when it comes to rushing the passer. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones has registered one sack, two hits and 19 hurries in 242 pass rushing opportunities and that translates into a dismal 7.1 pass rushing productivity number.

Jones, however, said on Wednesday that he knows he has a lot to work on moving forward and that going against Miami Dolphins left tackle Bryant McKinnie this past Sunday really was an experience.

“No. 78, that dude was huge, man,” Jones said, according to the official team website. “He doesn’t move a lot, but when he does you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s Shaq playing football.’ He was huge. And he was heavy, too.

“So things like that, the hands, building strength, speed, weight, all of that stuff will count. Football is a game of inches so you want to be as big, as strong, and as fast as you can. That’s something I really need to focus on in the offseason and over the course of these next three games and continue to get better.”

Ever since Jones was drafted, it was obvious that he would need to get bigger and stronger. His speed rush around the end usually takes him too far up the field and only a few times have we seen him effectively bull rush and put his opponent on skates.

The fact that Jones has managed to log over 500 snaps of playing time with three games remaining is amazing in itself as Steelers defensive rookies are lucky to see half that many snaps due to the complexities of the defense. The fact that Jones played in a 3-4 at Georgia certainly helped him with the learning curve, but still, nobody should have expected him to be the defensive rookie of the year. If you did, you should have known better.

With three games remaining in the season, Jones is back to being the third outside linebacker and that likely will result in him playing a third of the snaps the rest of the way baring any injuries. There’s also a chance that he will occasionally be on the field along with both LaMarr Woodley and Jason Worilds in certain situations just as he was prior to the former going down with his calf injury.

By the time next season rolls around, Jones will hopefully be much stronger and be able to offer more as a pass rusher. While many keep speculating that he will move inside permanently, I just don’t see that happening. He was drafted to be a 3-4 outside linebacker and that is what he must work on becoming during the offseason. Thanks to the playing time he received during his rookie season, he now knows what it takes to play the position.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Nice to hear this come from his mouth.

    There really is no way he moves inside, atleast not any time soon being that if we lose Worilds we have literally no OLB depth

  • dgh57

    Well at least J. Jones knows he needs to get bigger and stronger as that’s the 1st step towards getting better at his craft. He is starting to concern me with here it being just 3 weeks left in the season, but I’m still positive on the guy as if I remember right Timmons had to get bigger also. As soon as the season is over he better head to Florida and start working with Tom Shaw or whatever and get on some weight gaining program for sure!

  • dgh57

    I agree. I think Jones has already been quoted as saying he doesn’t think he’s big enough to play inside. So he needs to worry about getting bigger at the position he has experience in and the position he was drafted for which was OLB.

  • Rick M

    You definitely have to give Jarvis another year or two to make a proper evaluation. But I am mystified why, after doing so poorly in the strength tests at the combine, he didn’t bulk up between late April and September this year. His detractors were saying he wasn’t anywhere near strong enough to take on NFL left tackles and he started the season looking more like a wide receiver than an OLB. Oh well, good luck in 2014 and beyond JJ.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    The Steeler’s pre draft said he was one of 6 or 7 special players in the 2013 draft and took him. Why shouldn’t fans expect more from him, after all, if all the hall of fame talent evaluators at Steeler head quarters think he is special, the fans take their word for it.

  • Chad H

    As a rookie I don’t expect anyone to play to the level of a 4 year veteran. There is ups and downs. As a 1st rounder you should demonstrate the talent of why you were picked there. So at the OLB position we saw things in Woodley and Worilds both 2nd rounders. Timmons showed talent but was moved to the inside because the talent the coaches saw lead them to believe he was better suited to play there i.e. coverage skills on TEs. For me I haven’t seen enough to say “wow, this guy has it!” In preseason I said “wow, this guy has it!” But that was about Alan Baxter.

  • Rick M

    Agree wholeheartedly bonairs. They talked about him as a difference maker and said there would be little adjustment needed for him to play in the Steelers’ defence. Having only one sack in 242 pass rush attempts speaks to how poorly they evaluated his ability to take on left tackles.

    Here is the list of guys taken from 18-32 (after the Steelers) in the 2013 draft: Eric Reid, Justin Pugh, Kyle Long, Tyler Eifert, Desmond Trufant, Sharif Floyd, Bjorn Wener, Xavier Rhodes, Datone Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Sylvester Williams, Cordarrelle Patterson, Alec ogle tree, Travis Frederick and Matt Elam. A number of them have been impressive in their rookie seasons.

    Probably all/most of us feel JJ still has the potential to be a good one. But the team just has to nail their high pick much better this May.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Jarvis would be one of the if not the heaviest ILB we have on the roster right now. He does need to build up his strength but James Farrior admitted once that his playing weight of 235 dipped down close to 225 during the season. Hope we can find a way to keep our lb core intact and if that means moving Jarvis inside I’m all for it. He seems more comfortable there right now.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Funny, that was one of the knocks on him coming into the draft. Did not have a great showing at his workout day and give credit where credit is due. They were right and now he’s getting it. We really need him to make a big step forward if this defense is ever going to get better.

  • Fritz Baughman

    500 snaps and only two hits on the QB? That is absolutely pathetic. Hey, I understand the kid is a rookie……but only two hits is astonishing.

  • lefnor

    I told you before the season, he is simply weak for the position right now, at 248 pounds. He is so lean, his initial punch is ridiculous. We will see what he can do at 262-265 lbs (he has the height for it). I hope he can muscle up and meanwhile doesn’t lose his explosiveness. I expect him to be a beast.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Have people given up on Vince Williams already? Wow that sure was quick..!!

  • RedCarpetDefense

    In regards to Jarvis possibly moving inside.

  • Billibong

    He needs to get with Jason Worilds. Worilds learned from Harrison about working in the weight room and now hopefully Jarvis will get a chance to learn from Worilds.

  • treeher

    Woodley pre-draft combine: 6’2″, 266. 4.74. Timmons pre-draft combine: 6’1″, 234, 4.63. JJ pre-draft combine: 6’2″, 245. 4.9. Here are the comments from the Combine on him: (note comment about growth potential)

    WEAKNESSES

    One-year starter. Inconsistent using his hands to disengage from better blocks and to beat cut blocks from running backs in pass pro. Lacks an ideal frame to get much bigger and doesn’t have the growth potential to the bulk teams want at the position. Will need to prove he can stay with NFL ball carriers in space when dropping into the flat. Not particularly smooth in deep drops. Doesn’t have elite bend around the corner, and could use a spin or other counter move to keep tackles guessing. Missed the last five games of the 2009 with a neck injury, part of his senior year in high school with a broken thumb. There is some concern about his long-term durability due to his spinal stenosis condition, the same ailment that has caused some players to call it quits, including Marcus McNeill, Chris Samuels and Michael Irvin.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    At only 243 lbs, he ran 4.95. You can’t be that slow as a pass-rusher and he’d be a better fit at ILB than OLB under Lebeau’s scheme. He is a read and react OLB, not a pass-rushing OLB. The Steelers FO thought Lawrence Timmons would be our future OLB, but that didn’t happen, obviously and to be frankly i’d rather that Jones bulk up and play Buck aside Timmons.

  • Bradley Campbell

    He’s thinking a little to much and that is slowing him down. Look at his Georgia tape WOW! I thought he was special also. The combine scared me a little.

  • Asmitty56

    250-255 would be the money weight for him. Hopefully he trains with Taylor this off-season to maximize his athleticism and will likely have to work on his lower body and core as well. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to get him a martial arts tutor to help his hand usage. Jones will never be a Woodley or Harrison, he doesn’t or wont ever have their strength. Jones has to use his athleticism and perfect some pass rushing moves to succeed.

  • Asmitty56

    No he wouldn’t… Timmons is easily as big as Jones, matter of fact I’d bet he’s 5 pounds heavier if not more. William’s combine weight was 247, which is slightly larger than Jones. I’d assume Williams has gotten bigger since then.

  • Steve

    If I remember correctly Harrison was cut two or three times before landing with the Steelers. Hitting the weights would help Jarvis with his Strength and what you said about the martial arts would help his hand usage. Jarvis also need to be a student of the game and watch tape of past blunders and who he will be working against to learn their strengths and weakness.

  • http://pittsburghsportsinat.blogspot.com/ bgsteelfan

    I know exactly what you mean. When Harrison was trying to break through way back when, it was always “wow, he has the tools, he just needs to get his head on straight”. With Jones, as of right now I don’t see that. Time will tell.

  • CrazyTerry

    Jarvis Jones made Bryan McKinney, an old has been discarded by the Ravens, look like a hall of famer. This front 7 makes a lot of horrible OLs look good.

  • CrazyTerry

    Ignoring the spinal stenosis, how did this guy get rated so high as a top 5 talent just based on the other criticisms? Some scouts are clueless. Looks like he fell in the draft not because of his medical condition, but his lack of NFL caliber elite talent.

  • CrazyTerry

    Timmons showed flashes of his brilliance in his rookie season. From Jarvis, I have seen nothing. He looks like a mid rounder.

  • Douglas Andrews

    The point I was trying to make is that Jarvis has the size to play ILB. Most of the plays he’s made have come when he has lined up on the inside. He has only 1 sack at the OLB position. Bottom line is He really needs to get a lot stronger in order to play inside or outside period.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Go back and look at the tape at UGA and that will help explain why he was rated so high. He single handily won the Missouri game with the splash plays he made in that game.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Easy on the kid. As far as rookies go, he is already beyond the rookie wall. Why isn’t he hitting the weights right now? The NFL schedule is why. Very tough on rookie just to make it through their first NFL season let alone hitting the weight room between games. His body is adjusting right now. I fully expect him to do what he needs to do this offseason, and next season to be adjusted to the long, long NFL schedule. Lebeau himself said Jarvis is right where a rookie should be at the moment.

    Just wait a year would be my advice to fans.

  • MC

    I really hope this kid pans out. I didn’t like the pick at all but when i saw some interviews I really llked his demeanor and I hope he turns the corner.
    I am concerned though. I’ve seen him speed rush way too often this year even though the tackle sees it coming, he doesn’t have an inside move or the power to stop going upfield and bullrush and many times he continues upfield even when the tackle is in position for the speed rush.
    I didn’t like the pick because I didn’t think the steelers should of strayed from the tradition of converting DE’s into OLBS because DE’s have the strength and experience of taking on big lineman more often than a college 3-4 olb. It’s obvious that Jones doesn’t have the physical tools yet that a DE would have and I know a lot of people are saying it’s his rookie year but Kendrell Bell was a second round pick and had more of an impact in his rookie year than Jones has this year.
    Sure Kendrell Bell played inside, but i remember that year and Bell displayed that he wasn’t overwhelmed with the physicality of the NFL. I can’t say the same for Jones which is dissapointing considering he was not only selected in the first but pretty high in the first.
    As pick 17, you still expect more even in a rookie year is what i’m saying especially when you compare to Bell being a second rounder. But I was one of those people screaming for a trade down and picking up someone like Lemonieur in the third (who by the way is doing pretty well for SF).
    I pray he proves me wrong though, becuase if they miss on that pick it could go down as the worst pick in the last decade.

  • treeher

    I posted the info because of the comment that he doesn’t have the frame to get bigger. He already has a slow 40, what will his speed be like with 15 more pounds? I think he’ll be ok in the future, but won’t reflect a #1 draft position.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    100% on the money. don’t get me wrong, as he does have a chance to prove us all wrong, but if the stenosis prevents him from working out like an absolute maniac, then he may never live up to our expectations.

    I was praying that they would trade down. Look at what Minny was able to get from Frisco. I was fuming when I heard that. Absolutely livid! They could have drafted that tall WR that Houston got (what’s his name….Hopkins?) and perhaps a lineman or LB. Who knows, JJ might still have been on the board.

    I just think that when you are cap hell like they are, you take as many quality picks as you can, say in the first 3-4 rounds and pray that you can rid yourself of the big contracts without a massive drop in play at that position.

    Oh, well. Water under the bridge.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    PAINFUL. Every time I see the names Tyler Eifert or Xavier Rhodes or Cordarelle Patterson i want to vomit.

  • Bob Graff

    This is another busted draft choice . He slimmed down to run that 4.95 he is probably more like 5.1 as his natural speed which is way to slow to make plays in the NFL and that’s exactly what is happening. mean not only is he not getting to the

  • Nolrog

    I don’t think he has the speed to play inside. At 4.9 can he keep up with the backs and TEs he would have to cover inside or will they always have a step on him and be open?

  • MC

    Yep, and It does annoy me how rarely steelers trade down, it’s almost like they go best player available even though it is smarter ,given their situation with many holes to fill, to trade down. it just seems illogically stubborn.

    I always felt Jones would of been there later in the first round anyway.

    It hurts when you see the impact that Eric Reid is having with the niners in his rookie year and we could of easily of traded down, grabbed Reid and used those extra picks on other holes like OLB/ILB/WR/CB later.

    On that note, what happened to Terry Hawthorne our 5th round CB?

    It feels like us fans who study the draft and college prospects are getting a better understanding of who’s a better fit for the steelers than our own scouting department which has me worried. Jones was a huge boom or bust prospect and at pick 17, i’d rather they have played it safer and had more selections.

    I sincerely think the steelers need to be more savy on draft day and less stubborn and predictable.

  • MC

    also, ive been critical of the FO lately for some of their decisions. Eg, i was a person screaming to sign Vontaze Burfict when he wasn’t drafted. A first round talent with character flags that would of instantly filled a need for us. Obviously the character flags led to us passiing on him but really, where’s the risk assessment? he wasn’t drafted! which means you can sign him without a draft pick or for much money on the books why not take that risk? Now look at Burfict, he might make us pay for the decision twice a year for many years going foward.

  • Douglas Andrews

    His speed is deceptive. Jarvis admitted after that slow 40 time he had a slight groin injury and also he didn’t really prepare for it. I don’t put too much stock into fast or slow 40 times i’m more interested in game speed. If Timmons, Foote, and the rest of our ILB can cover backs and TE’s don’t see why JJ can’t do it also.

  • Jerronimo

    Time for rods.

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