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Jarvis Jones Not To Blame For Long Run By Ryan Tannehill


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.

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About Dave Bryan

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

    Well if it wasn’t Jarvis then it’s #43 and #20 (since they never say who’s to blame), two veterans that should clearly know better.

  • steeltown

    I hate watching this play… Taylor could barely catch Tannehill

  • DrakePirate

    I wasn’t a JJ fan in the draft and he has been pretty quiet this year although I guess the upside is he’s gained a lot of experience and playing time which hopefully translates to a faster development and more upside next year … would love to hear what ppl think of his future now, while not a lot to take from he has played enough to get some opinions … would be interested what Dave and others think of his performance this year and expectations going forward. We cant afford to have another high pick bust …

  • JAMESH

    Here’s where I think Coach Tomlin has it wrong. Younger players are not seeing the field because, as he says, he wants to give his team the best chance to win the game. Hello!?! You aren’t winning with the older guys! Giving the young guys playing time and giving your team its best chance to win are not mutually exclusive. I would rather see Shamarko Thomas making mistakes than Will Allen.

  • Mike Carroll

    If it was left to Clark as “safety” it would have been another ridiculously long TD run.

  • 2443scott

    i think hes still learning def and has a lot upside he needs to hit the weight room this off season and i think he will ….he needs to be stronger to get more of a push… sure he may make some mistakes and has during the season but i rather he make a mistake then not try at all and learn from his mistakes to get better …he does not know many of the people he has to defend as of yet the more he plays the better he will be knowing there weakness …

  • Chad H

    Looks to me like the Dolphins did their homework and watched a lot of tape and found this as well as many other flaws in our D.

  • 2443scott

    hes lost a step and cant recover as fast and his hands kill him when he has a chance to catch ball ..once a guy gets a step on him he doesnt have the speed to get back at guy in time ….he needs 10 yards off a guy to be able to stay with them but then they drop off under him for quick 5 to 10 yards ….if he jams them the line and they get around him hes done ….

  • Chad H

    We will see next year. I just don’t see enough for a 1st rounder to say he is the future at OLB. I really was hoping for WR C. Patterson. This guy is showing great potential as a 1st rounder both ST play and as a WR. I think he would have been a home run for the Steelers offense. Both JJ and CP had risk vs reward but CP is showing more reward than risk and JJ has 1 sack.

  • Mike Carroll

    Turning on Sportscenter to see the longest run by a QB in NFL history in Oakland would have been enough research :( This defense is shell of what it once was.

  • 20Stoney

    I wanted them to draft Eifert and try to extend Worilds. Jones’ positives to me is that he hustles and seems smart, so I think he’ll work and be coachable. His lack of strength and inability to beat a tackle one on one is concerning though. I focus on him a lot and he is pretty easily handled. We can’t keep waiting for 3 years for guys to really become players.

  • 20Stoney

    Coach Tomlin, and probably most coaches, have a comfort level with guys they know. It takes a whole lot for them to make changes. I think that was really on display with the amount of time it took to replace Ziggy with Heyward.

  • Mike Carroll

    Agree on your assessment of Jarvis. And definitely agree on the final point. The new CBA and the merging of the college game with the pro game both create an imperative to get more production from younger players. There are more NFL ready players coming into the league and they are very cheap across the board due to the rookie wage scale. But, the new rules on the salary cap floor ensures that all teams must spend a minimum 90% of the cap, which means more cap dollars being spent on 2nd contracts.

  • cencalsteeler

    Well, I owe JJ an apology. Now that I see he scrapes down on the dive, it’s apparent. We have been burned twice now with this scheme. This play basically takes our olb out of outside contain and the passes it on to a db. Not sure if that is too smart by design. Might want to can that idea for the rest of the season and bring it back out next year at training camp so they can practice it a little more. They obviously don’t have it quite mastered, yet.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I agree, you get a younger guy experience plus you get the chance to evaluate him too. Shark might be going into next season as one of the starting safties. At this point in his career we all know what Will Allen has to offer.

  • DrakePirate

    I also wanted Eifert and to extend Worilds if it was a good deal .. didnt like Patterson at all … too raw, loved Hopkins over him, but he has played well so far and Hopkins had possible Character flaws .. I think EIFERT was the call, would have loved COOPER but went too early .. also would have loved REID which is already playing stellar …

    I think you need 1st and 2nd Rounders to be starters from pretty much day one … these days cant afford project players with top picks

  • Rick M

    I’m not sure why any of us should be surprised by who was at fault on the play. Clark’s best days – and they were very good – are understandably in the past and he bites on a number of plays when he shouldn’t. His prime claim to fame now is media soundbites. Allen was released by Dallas of all teams and when you’re released by the Dallas defence that doesn’t say much. And Ike hasn’t looked good for most of the season.

    The Steelers defence next season, with Keenan Lewis at one corner, Worilds at left OLB and Heyward on the line would have some proven foundation talent in the prime of their careers. Instead, we’ll likely have only one of these three good draftees.

    Management just seems enamoured guys with who are 33-35 years old, or guys who were released by other teams but know the Steelers’ system. I’ve never seen anything like the personnel decisions and salary cap mismanagement that have been happening over the last couple of years. I respect fans who disagree; it’s just my opinion as a diehard Steelers’ fan.

  • steeltown

    For a 1st Rd pick, he is not meeting expectations in his first season, BUT I will always give a rookie another year to show ability no matter what Rd they were picked in. Jones hasnt been terrible by any stretch, he just plays like a guy who is learning the pro game and needs to hit the weight room. If he is lackluster again next season THEN I will begin to question his ability. Look at Cam Heyward, he may or may not have been productive in his rookie season, but he sure is now after learning and growing as a player

  • steeltown

    Agreed for the most part, I like Will Allen but he is basically a great backup and only a decent starter. I hope he is back next season for depth reasons, but Shark should be seeing the field more this year, especially in nickel because he is hopefully the future of the position

  • DrakePirate

    True … looking like Heyward was a good pick, sometimes these picks like Heyward and Worilds seems like it has a lot to do with just letting them play and learn a lot earlier than they are getting a chance to

  • Mike Carroll

    Nice post. I hope and think the Front Office will opt for greater than usual personnel turnover this offseason. I’ll be extremely upset if they don’t. The whole organization has suffered from the hubris that comes all too easily with the success they had before. And that hubris completely stunted the pipeline of finding and developing new players. As a fan, it’s not such bad mistake to live through given all the triumphs the organization brought before :)

    But, also as fan, you want your team to do well every year. Colbert and company are paid to do their jobs every year. I don’t think it’s all hindsight to say the defense has been in decline since 2010 (actually 2008 was the peak). There have been warning signs along the way before the floor completely fell out this year. At any rate, the writing is clearly on the wall now. It’s a must for the front office to transition to the next generation of players, especially on defense, as quickly as possible.

  • Mike Carroll

    They’ll need to rely on Will Allen for snaps next year as bridge type player while they develop new talent. I would sit Clark who won’t be back next year. But, they won’t do that because they think that would be seen as disrespectful to a player who gave so much in the past.

  • Bob Loblaw

    It’s waaaaay too early to say anything about Jones. Look at Timmons. He was drafted at a similar spot in the first round, and already Jones has seen more playing time as a rookie than Timmons ever did.

  • Rick M

    Totally agree that the Steelers’ defence has been in decline since 2010 and likely earlier as the Steelers were 9-7 in 2009. The decline was masked in 2011 when the team faced 7 to 8 bad QB’s in 16 games. But it was completely exposed by Tim Tebow in the 2011 playoffs, and now throughout 2012 and 2013.

    The Steelers, as you say, gave fans three wonderful Superbowl appearances from 2005 through 2010. But that doesn’t justify being in salary cap purgatory four years later with an aging and ineffective defence. They just have to get their financial house in order, so they can hold onto any good young players that they do draft.

  • Mike Carroll

    Much of the salary cap purgatory can be traced to the summer of 2011. Right after the new CBA was signed the Steelers went out and signed 5 huge, bad contracts which have completely fouled up their cap since then (Woodley, Timmons, Troy, Ike, Colon). I don’t care that some of those players have good years since signing those deals. The team put way too much money into too few players and they’ve payed the price with the rest of their roster.

  • Elijah Stevenson

    I can’t remember whether it was Clark Allen or taylor who had a bad angle to make a tackle

  • Rick M

    Agree that Timmons has been the only one that worked out reasonably well. Injuries diminished the return on the Polamalu and Woodley contracts, and I think they just flat out made mistakes on the Taylor and Colon contracts.

    As for all the re-structuring of contracts, that’s the mantra of Colbert and Khan. That basically seems to be 90% of what they do when it comes to ‘managing’ the salary cap. And in reality anyone can do that.

  • steeltown

    It was Allen’s miscue or misread, but Taylor looked awfully slow in pursuit

  • greeny

    Taylor is a 30 plus year old cb who gets beat by brandon stokely and now Tannehill. I think it is time to eat the dead money on him. Still don’t understand why we let Lewis go.

  • steeltown

    Jarvis Jones: “…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…”

  • Chonng_li

    yea ive been saying this. i was a huge supporter of ziggy but heyward should of been starting over him since last year.

  • Chonng_li

    i wanted lewis to stay but he didnt want to stay in Pittsburgh anyway since him being from new orleans, he went to play for his old team.

  • Chonng_li

    i think star loutlelei (i know spelling) would of been the best pick if we would of trade up before carolina, I dont think mclendon is a true NT but dont give up on jones. Earlier this year me and im sure everyone else felt worilds was a bust but look at him now. its hard to make an impact on the steelers defense their rookie year.

  • Mike Carroll

    Agree about restructures. In general, I hate them.

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