The Pittsburgh Steelers have now wrapped up their offseason practices and according to several reports over the course of the last three weeks, third-string quarterback Landry Jones hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire with his performances during the practices. On Wednesday, offensive coordinator Todd Haley was asked to weigh in on Jones, who is entering his third year with the team.
“Landry’s a little up and down but working hard and it’s a tough spot to be in being the third guy,” said Haley in his interview that can be heard on Steelers Nation Radio. “He’s gotten thrust into more reps with Bruce [Gradkowski] being out and he’s got to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Bruce Gradkowski, in case you’re wondering, missed a few practices with a sore shoulder and that evidently has resulted in more work for Jones with the second-team offense.
Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner was also asked about Jones on Wednesday during his talk with media and was asked specifically about the competition between him and fourth-string quarterback Tajh Boyd, who was signed during the offseason after originally being selected last year by the New York Jets in the sixth-round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Clemson.
“It will always be tight that’s always going to be the competition right there,” said Fichtner, who has been on the coaching staff since 2007. “Obviously, I don’t see it as competition daily, we see as how do we improve and how do they get better and then we’ll evaluate it in the end.
“So it’s an ongoing daily competition, if you will, but personally, I think it’s just my job and their job to come to work willing and we got to get the best out of them everyday.”
While the battle between Jones and Boyd can be viewed as an insignificant one in the grand scheme things, it certainly is intriguing nonetheless and especially being as the Steelers spent a fourth-round draft pick on the former. Regardless, it appears to be a close one as the team enters their mandatory minicamp and I expect it will stay that way on into training camp and the preseason.
The Steelers will play five preseason games this year so I expect we’ll see quite a bit of Jones and Boyd in the first two contests.