Steelers OLB Jarvis Jones Claims He’s Accomplished His Goal Of Getting Stronger

After only registering one sack during his rookie season, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones knew exactly what he needed to do during the offseason in order to change that moving forward into 2014.

“Football is a game of inches so you want to be as big, as strong, and as fast as you can,” said Jones near the conclusion of the 2013 season. “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.”

According to Scott Brown of, Jones said Tuesday during the first OTA practice of the 2014 season that while he hasn’t added any weight since last year, that he has indeed gotten stronger.

Jones started eight games for the Steelers in 2013 after being drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Georgia and while he only wound up recording the one sack and 40 total tackles at right outside linebacker, he did appear to get a lot more comfortable in the defense as the season progressed.

The Steelers pass defense suffered once again in 2013 due to the lack of consistent pressure put on opposing quarterbacks by their front seven and Jones will be expected to help drastically change that in his second season.


  • steeltown

    I’m sure he has if he put the work in.. this is a process though, over the course of the first 2-3yrs is when you see significant change while working with the Team strength and conditioning staff. It takes more than one offseason to put on significant muscle mass and improve strength to a greater degree

  • Ken

    Jarvis has good quickness, that’s the part that you can’t really improve much. getting stronger will help him use it. Jarvis Jones is on his way to being to a good football player, I have no doubts about this one.

  • cencalsteeler

    Not so sure he needs to put on significant muscle mass. Lean muscle is more than likely what he’s working on. His strength is his speed. Muscle mass will reduce his quickness therefore negating his natural talent, which is his speed rush.

  • Matt Manzo

    Do they do anything in OTAs that will show us his strength?

  • steeltown

    Very true

    My thinking is still the same in regards to the improved ‘strength’ it takes longer than a few months. It will be a process.

  • shawn

    ya … i doubt he has gotten much stronger in just the past couple months … like u said its going to take a couple off seasons with the staff to get him up to where he needs to be …

    Cant tell much about what little is posted in the article … but have to say i dont like the tone … i hope i hear more enthusiastic tidbits as time goes by !

  • dave

    Yes, he has to lift Kaboly.

  • Steel LJ

    You can put mass on and get faster if u put the it on in the right places….iam about 40 pounds bigger then I was when I played HS football and iam faster then I was 12 years ago just not as agile but I think that came with age lol

  • Steelers@2010

    He came in at 240LBS last year, from the reports from OTA’s today, he is still at 240. Stronger? I guess time will tell; but if he hasn’t put the time in to get stronger as he claim he has, then it’s quite evident that everything reported about this guy last year was true. And the reports? He is lazy and does not prepare hard during the offseason and in practices.

  • shawn

    i’ll hold a wait n see attitude … but I’m kind of negative on his off season progress right now ( as far as off season strength & conditioning goes only) …. and for no good reason … just calling it a hunch and gut feeling

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Sorry. If you don’t add any weight you either had fat to lose or didn’t work out that hard. If there is a clear improvement in definition I’ll agree to reconsider.

  • steelster

    getting stronger and losing body fat percentage is a lean build approach. He may be faster because of it.

  • joed32

    Please link to one. His college DC said he was a hard worker.

  • cencalsteeler

    Nicely stated.

  • Jacque Strappe

    I’m curious if you have more info than what’s been posted here. If you have no more to go on than what this article alludes to, well, I wouldn’t go too far out on that limb.

  • Madi

    Sorry. He did have fat to lose. Didja see him at his pro day? For all we know, he could have lost 8 pounds of fat and gained 8 of muscle.

  • cencalsteeler

    Exactly. People may have the misconception that if he didn’t add weight to his offseason training, then it wasn’t successful. Very nice post.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    The funny part is… I don’t even think his lack of strength is his biggest weakness. It’s his technique.

    He doesn’t get very low. He doesn’t lean properly to get leverage when rounding the corner. He doesn’t seem to work well with his hands to disengage from blocks.

    I don’t care how much he benches or squats. I’d like to see him show some good flexibility and form when attacking left tackles.

  • Craig Ressler

    He doesn’t really need to add that much weight. He just needs to get learner/toner and stronger.

  • Jonas

    Technique is important in our 3-4 system and Butler & Mitchell are the best in teaching the proper technique before everything else.. James Harrison, Steve McLendon, Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel all late round guys which excelled due to their technique improvement. I’m sure they’re working on his technique!

  • steelster

    that is why the steelers brought in Joey Porter. Jones has stated that he was slowed down by the mental aspect of the game. He should have that down this year and I think he will have a 6-8 sack season which is a nice improvement.

  • Jacque Strappe

    Agree with this wholeheartedly. I think JJ got by in college on speed alone. That won’t fly in the league. I think a year under his belt, better conditioning (whatever that may be) and familiarity with the defense will take him to a higher level of play. I think the kid can be a beast.

  • Ike Evans

    we will see how strong he has gotten week 1 against Joe Thomas…thats for sure

  • Stephen Peepels

    This article says almost nothing. Slow news day. I need a bit more data before I make comments on his progress.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    If he was the karate kid that would be fine.

    Since he is instead an olb playing against an Lt in most cases he needs to be a lot stronger. Especially since he wasn’t strong enough last year. No weight gain means he didn’t add much muscle unless you’re saying he was so fat and soft it took an off season just to firm up a soft body.

  • Steve

    Jarvis all too often got beat around end by taking a “Down step” and the LT blocked him down and around end they went.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I do have to admit missing his pro day.

    For all we know?

    His pro day was before last season. Are you saying he didn’t work out before or during the season and finally got around to dealing with his pro day extra weight a full year later?

    That just doesn’t sound feasible.

    I think it’s very reasonable to expect he dealt with that before last season and built on that work this off season. If he didn’t I think it’s a problem.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Other people have a misconception that someone saying they work out is enough. I simply have no indication he’s done anything and the fact that he isn’t adding any bulk is a warning sign for someone who needed to get stronger.

    Why are you so sure he has put in the extra effort you would hope for from a first round choice?

  • Eric MacLaurin

    What makes you think 245 pounds is acceptable weight for his position? Why not stick Shazier out there if all you need is speed and 240 pounds?

  • steelster

    he will never be as strong as a Lt but he needs to be quicker. What madi said could be true. He is already 240 we don’t need him to be 260. Adding muscle helps lose weight. Dri archer is a great example. He may be short but he isn’t small. Don’t get caught up in the weight issue. Farrior played at 225 lbs.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Muscle weighs more than fat. It helps a fat person burn more fat but doesn’t reduce an athletes playing weight.

    He does need to be 260. All positions have different needs. Farrior wasn’t battling a Lt every down and DRI isn’t going to slam into the middle of the line.

  • Paddy

    I’m not impressed, hopefully he’s an all pro

  • steelster

    James Harrison weighs 242 lbs and that sums up my arguement on this point.

  • Eric MacLaurin


    That Harrison never weighed in after his first year or that size doesn’t matter?


  • cencalsteeler

    Truthfully, I have no idea how much effort Jarvis Jones has put in during the off season and I never said such a thing. I’m just stating that people fear that if a player doesn’t come in with “added bulk” (which could be mislead to being only water weight) or heavier, doesn’t necessarily mean they have trained to become stronger. A perfect example would be that of a MMA fighter or a boxer. He trains and becomes stronger, but loses weight (leaner) to become faster and more mobile. If Jones was a tackle, I’d see your concerns. But, his position requires him to be more mobile (he needs to cover, also) like a boxer. So, I’m not necessarily hung up on him gaining weight or adding bulk to improve his play. If Floyd Mayweather were to put on 30 lbs. of muscle, he’d lose a lot of speed, quickness and his allusiveness, which is his strength. I feel Jarvis is similar to Floyd in that he probably cross trained more for his position than just lifted weights and threw down the protein shakes.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Why do people bring up other athletes that play against people their own weight when arguing against my point that weight matters?

    Did I ever say you can’t add strength without gaining weight?

    There is a physics angle related to mass that has to be considered for on olb that has to defend against the run on occaision and who plays across from the best player on the opponents line.

    Speed, strength and weight all factor in.

    My biggest concern with Jones coming in was that the stenosis would keep him from working out enough to add any bulk or elite strength and the fact that he didn’t add any weightweight is a red flag to me.

    I can see being hopeful he worked out but not assuming it.

  • lefnor

    Clay Matthews gained 20 pounds of muscle after his 10 sack rookie season (from 240 to 260). Next season he had 13,5 sacks.
    Jarvis Jones had a very very thin frame at 248 pounds and didn’t gain a pound? Are you kidding?
    He has to be at 260.
    I don’t know which one is worse: he wasn’t able or didn’t want to bulk up.
    Very disappointing start of the OTAs.

  • MC

    i don’t think thats his only problem. Not only does he need to be stronger but he also needs to play with more intensity. Strength will definitely help with that but hopefully Joey Porter can instil a mindset in him to want to beat the tackle and the qb into the ground as soon as he leaves the tunnel.

  • cencalsteeler

    I’m not defending Jarvis and I see what you are saying, but you need to remember that the Steelers are going to ask JJ to drop into coverage, too. He needs to find a happy medium where he can be well versed in all of what is asked of him. Gaining muscle mass and strength may help him in defending against the run, but may hinder him in coverage. This has become a pass happy league and if JJ bulks to 260 as you want him to, qbs will pick on him all day long in coverage.
    Bringing in Joey Porter to help with JJ’s technique should help him in run support as well as the pass rush because I feel he takes to the arc too far and is easily pushed out of the play. If he were to learn some swim moves and some spins (which he started to show at the tail end of 13) he should be o.k. The guy is only 1 year into the league. I think we should be patient with him and hope he continues to develop.

  • Skinny Merlino

    Core strength is what he needs more of not mass imo

  • Milliken Steeler

    I agree Steelster. He does have a nose for being around the ball at least and with an offseason of studying, I think 6-8 sacks his second season is very attainable.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I don’t think he needs to turn into a body builder but I think he can add upper body strength without hurting his speed as long as his program is designed properly.

    It’s just an especially big red flag in my mind because it is the one thing I was worried would be a limitation. Zero offseason weight gain was my worst case expectation. I’m not certain about anything but I am concerned.

    The idea that he is the same size as Spence and Shazier is something I’ll just have to think about. It doesn’t seem right.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Coming from you…


  • charles

    Muscle and fat are simply 2 different ways of storing sugar. Muscle is less dense. The unhappy fact is that you can’t train to gain Mike Tyson strength you are born with it.

  • charles

    When Woodley bulked up to 260 it ruined what game he had AND left him constantly injured. Almost none of the comments above concerning human physiology have any basis in fact.

  • charles

    Sure seems from the respective physiques that Williams is an ILB and that Shazier, Jones and Spence all have OLB potential.

  • steelster

    Well as far as conditioning and strength training I think the steelers have done a very poor job over the past 5 years.

  • cencalsteeler

    Maybe a body fat analysis would be a better gauge to his off season development as opposed to just his weight in general. Look. I really don’t care if he weighs 200 or 300 lbs. As long as he shows improvement from year to year is all I care about. It’s day one of OTA’s. Let’s see what this kid does on the grass this year, that will be the determining factor. One last thing to mention.. look at where the Steelers shifted their attention to in the draft. Hint: It rhymes with “need”. It’s been a fun debate Eric… you have some nice and valid points! I say this with peace and love, peace and love.

  • steelster

    yes and Matthews has been on the injury list a lot since the weight gain. It does make you wonder.

  • Jim_Racalto

    If Jarvis says he has gotten stronger, he has gotten stronger. You can add strength and muscle and maintain a certain weight. Obviously I am no NFL player, but when I got back to lifting within six weeks my bench press went from 185 to 225, but I dropped from 205 pounds to 197. I am sure his diet is consistent with a workout plan as well. So I indeed got much stronger, but it wasn’t reflected in how much I weigh. He doesn’t need bulk, it would hamper his main strengths, which are speed and quickness. But like I said, if he says it, I believe it.

  • steelster

    you got it my friend.

  • george

    His “natural talent’ produced one sack last year. Speed alone won’t cut it as a OLB in theNFL.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    The stenosis was the first thing that concerned me when they drafted him. It may prevent him from training as hard as others. I get your point as it is a possibility.

  • shawn

    like i said … its just a hunch … I’m still expecting immense progress from his 1st yr … just not so sure he has gotten the work ethic down quite yet.

  • Jonas

    I totally agree with you. Still, JJ setted the edge quite nice last year (e.g looking at our GIFs) – but of course, speed alone wasn’t enough to reach the QB therefore our concerns are still right!
    He can’t get pushed to the arc on every play, that shows bad leverage, handplacement AND strength. The first two should be things that improve in his 2nd season – especially with the hiring of Peezy !
    In the end improvement is all that matters..

  • Madi

    So just say you think he’s a liar. He didn’t get bigger, and he says he didn’t get bigger. He DOES say he got stronger. He was not in pristine physical condition before, so it’s very plausible that he lost bad weight and gained good weight, getting stronger (like he said). You “have no indication”? Well me neither, since I haven’t lifted weights with him recently. I’m just saying he needed to get stronger, his coach said he would get stronger, he says he did get stronger, and it’s plausible that he’s telling the truth. Call him a liar if you want, but don’t act like he needed to gain weight this year when he didn’t, and the fact that he hasn’t means he failed.

  • Madi

    You’re super smart.

  • Johnny Loose

    lol right

  • Johnny Loose

    Von Miller is currently listed at 249 and weighed 246 at his pro day. So he’s gained an average of 1 lb. a year. he’s an edge rusher like Jarvis who is listed at 245. Give the man some time. His technique was the biggest thing holding him back last year..

  • Johnny Loose

    List one reason that points to him not having a work ethic? you’ve seen him start 8 games. Or have you?

  • Johnny Loose

    have a hard time believing you are faster now than you were 12 years ago playing HS football. You’re faster at 30 years old than you were at 18? after gaining 40 pounds? That’s quite an anomaly. I’ll take you at your word though |0_o|

  • Steel LJ

    Iam faster and can jump higher but iam only faster n a straight line lol

  • michael young

    Body weight alone isn’t a true indicator of strength. He is 6’2″ and 240 lbs. There are plenty of LB’s who are capable of being very effective at that size. The two areas that I noticed he needed to work in the off season were technique (transferring speed to power) and finding a few counter moves. He was completely predictable last season. He either went with the speed rush to the outside or bull rushed. OT just pushed him up field and took him for a tour of the hash marks. I would have preferred him really focusing on his technique this off season while obviously keeping up with his conditioning and weight training. I think he will be fine. Plenty of OLB’s come out of college relying on speed alone. They learn very quickly that won’t work in the NFL. I think the year under his belt will really help him in the long run. He now knows what he needs to work on.

  • Steel PAul

    I hear ya shawn, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a steady slow process as we watch him get better throughout the season. Our fans won’t give him much leeway, but he will come along this season.
    I have Jones and Shark as my two dark horses to have strong seasons.

  • shawn

    ya i would be very surprised if he doesnt perform better this year …. but how much better … is the Million $$$ Question …

  • 2443scott

    jitters are out of the way now …all he has to do is learn and play football not worry on what to say to media now he can be him self and not the first round guy playing his first year

  • cencalsteeler

    Cut the kid some slack. He said he got stronger in the off season. He was a rookie last year. Rookies are developmental players who are learning a system and most don’t see the field under LeBeau. Those who expect pro bowl seasons from a rookie most likely are fooling only themselves.

  • Robert Loveless Reid

    Well Joey Porter goin help him with acquiring the best work ethic possible!

  • shawn

    well that was his rep at Georgia i’ve heard … and at the combine it showed as he had really bad numbers so it just points to he didnt work out a whole lot before … and he apparently says he hasn’t gained any weight but he’s reached his goal of getting stronger ( after just a couple months of the offseason) … it just all kind of doesnt add up to the things i want to hear … but you are right there is no smoking gun & I’m not sure of anything at all … its just a hunch/ gut feeling thats all nothing more !

  • shawn

    like to hear that !!!

  • Skinny Merlino

    Lol the name comes from joey merlino