The Pittsburgh Steelers gave up three more plays of 40 yards or more Sunday in their loss to the Miami Dolphins and on one of them, rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones is being unfairly blamed for a missed assignment.
On the 48 yard run by quarterback Ryan Tannehill off of the read-option in the first quarter, the Steelers had their quarters package on the field and Jones carried out his assignment the way he was instructed to. Veteran linebacker Larry Foote confirmed this Tuesday morning during his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan.
That was his assignment," said Foote of Jones. "He did his job, he's supposed to tackle the dive and the secondary, and the linebackers, we didn't get Tannehill."
Foote, who has been on injured reserve with a torn biceps since the season opener, wouldn't point fingers outside of reemphasizing that Jones did his job on the play.
"I ain't going to give no names, but it wasn't Jarvis," said Foote. "It was somebody behind Jarvis."
The play was similar to the one ran by the Oakland Raiders on the first play of the game several weeks ago only to the opposite side and without a guard pulling the away from the play side.
When you look at the film, it's easy to see that safety Will Allen is at fault here, as I do not believe Troy Polamalu had scrape responsibilities. Allen took a horrible angle and was easily trapped inside by fullback Charles Clay, which in turned opened up a huge lane for Tannehill.
If anything, Allen has to keep that contained when taking on the block of Clay as that would have forced Tannehill back inside to help. However, even had Allen forced Tannehill back inside, the Dolphins quarterback was going to get some yards on the play as safety Ryan Clark had bit hard on the play fake and Polamalu struggled to get off of the block of left tackle Bryant McKinnie.
So is this bad coaching? Not according to Foote, who said the coaching staff warned the defense earlier in the week about the read-option.
"The bad thing, and give credit to Mike Tomlin, he showed some of our mistakes that we had in previous games, saying, 'Watch this, they're going to try this zone read and this quarterback can run,'" said Foote. "He showed plays of Tannehill getting up the field."
While Jones has had his ups and downs as a rookie, he does seem to be grasping the defense well and none of the three 40 plus yard plays that were allowed by the defense on Sunday are to be blamed on him.