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Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – RB Felix Jones

End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.

Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.

Player: Felix Jones

Position: Running Back

Experience: 6 Years

The Pittsburgh Steelers traded outside linebacker Adrian Robinson to the Philadelphia Eagles in order to acquire running back Felix Jones in the middle of the preseason in a bid to find a cheaper alternative to Jonathan Dwyer.

As it would turn out, both would wind up on the roster after opening week due to LaRod Stephens-Howling’s injury, and Isaac Redman, the opening day starter, eventually found himself unemployed after a few weeks.

In retrospect, it was obviously a mistake for the Steelers to apply restricted free agent tenders to both Redman and Dwyer, but this was before the draft and the selection of Le’Veon Bell, and with the planned departure of Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh wanted to ensure that they had some backs in the system.

But because they agreed to pay both of them a combined some $2.6 million, an inevitable search for a cheaper alternative ensued during the offseason, and that’s where Jones comes in at long last.

With intentions to incorporate outside zone blocking schemes into the running game, Jones was seen as a more complementary piece to that style of running than was Dwyer, who is a more north-to-south runner who can struggle weaving through traffic and finding holes when moving laterally.

Dwyer ultimately played a larger role on offense as things would turn out, but Jones did play in every game, if only for a pair of snaps. In all, he totaled 151 snaps on offense, often as a two-minute back or in a change of pace situation.

He carried the ball 48 times for 184 yards, which average out to just 3.8 yards, but the yards per carry figure trended upward as the season progressed. The same could be said for the rest of the backs on the roster. He also chipped in nine receptions for 63 yards, though he also lost a fumble, for which he was benched.

Jones’ larger role came on special teams, as he inherited the kick return duty from Stephens-Howling after his opening day injury. It should be noted that Jones was not brought here to return kicks, though he was the up back for that game.

Still, his performance in this aspect of the game was quite pedestrian, with a glimmer here and there. On 22 kick returns, he totaled 492 yards for an average return of 22.4, which is well and truly average. He did have a pair of returns of 40 yards or more, and added a few in the 30s, but the Steelers would certainly like to put a more explosive player back there. And in the backfield as well, for that matter.

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