Tomlin Hesitates To Put Full Blame On Jones For 4 Interception Game

Thursday night’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles is certainly one that Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones would surely like to forget as the fourth-year player threw four interceptions in the first half of the team’s 17-0 loss at Heinz Field. While those four interceptions certainly look awful in the NFL gamebook, head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t put the blame of all of them on Jones when he talked about the quarterback’s play during his post-game press conference.

“Like I said earlier, some of it’s good plays by them, some of it’s negligence by us – whether it’s route running or throwing,” Tomlin said of Jones’ four interception night. “I understand that it falls under his stat line, but those are unit plays and sometimes you got to acknowledge that the opponent makes a quality play or two. The bottom line is that us, as a unit, or as a team, have got to do a better job of securing the football.”

Even at halftime, Tomlin wasn’t ready to blame Jones for all four of the interceptions.

“Sometimes it’s receiver location,” Tomlin said.

Jones’ first interception in Thursday night’s game happened midway through the first quarter and it was probably the quarterback’s worst pick of the game. Against man coverage, Jones forced a pass to wide receiver Sammie Coates and Eagles cornerback Nolan Carroll jumped the route for the interception and returned it for a touchdown. Ill advised read and throw aside, Coates admitted after the game that he should of come back to the football after coming out his break on the route.

“I should’ve came off the ball harder, it was all my fault,” Coates said after the game. “That’s not on the quarterback at all. That’s all my fault.”

Alex Kozora will have a full breakdown of this interception in a forthcoming post.

Jones’ second interception of the game came late in the first quarter with the Steelers offense driving deep in Eagles territory. On this play, Jones attempted to hit wide receiver Cobi Hamilton on a corner route with a high pass over the top of the cornerback. As you can see below, the pass actually hit Hamilton just above the numbers before bouncing up in the air and being picked off by another Eagles defender. Could this ball have been thrown a little deeper? Perhaps, but overall it’s tough to lay a ton of blame on Jones on this one. Like Tomlin said, “Sometimes you got to acknowledge that the opponent makes a quality play or two.”

After the game, Hamilton reportedly said he should have made the catch.

Jones’ third interception of the game came with 2:33 left in the first half and on a 1st and 10 play from the Eagles 20-yard-line. On this pick, Coates runs a post corner route and it looks like he gives up on the route coming out of his post portion of it. Eagles cornerback Aaron Grymes wasn’t fooled at all by Coates’ route and actually ran it better than the Steelers wide receiver did. And on top it all, Grymes made a great catch to record the interception. Coates, by the way, took the blame for this interception after the game was over.

On Jones’ fourth and final interception, the quarterback was attempting to hit wide receiver Eli Rogers when he was hit by Eagles defensive end Steven Means just as he was throwing the football. This resulted in Jones throwing a wounded duck and it was easily intercepted. Means, by the way, blew right past Steelers tight end Jesse James on the play. It’s hard to know what the outcome of the pass might have been had Jones not been hit while delivering the football.

Obviously, you all know by now that I’m not a huge fan of Jones, but with that said, I really think his first of his four interceptions was squarely on his shoulders with the blame of the other three certainly being shared.

Steelers Film Room: Landry Jones’ Pick Six

  • Shane Mitchell

    Coates has to get better at intermediate route running and not giving away his routes to DBs off the line.

  • Steelers12

    I know 2 of them won’t his fault but he just look so damn mediocre. When he’s bad he’s bad but there’s worser backups out there

  • Steelers12

    Yes, he seems to be pressing too much. He should just play football n let the game flow to him

  • Birdman

    if he continue’s to run routes like that, Ben isn’t going to look for him. He should be the #5 WR until he prove’s he’s worthy.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    It’s not the stat line… It is the eye test. He isn’t good. I see that with Jarvis… with Shamarko. They aren’t quality NFL players. Conversely, Eli Rogers has something. Hargrave has something. Tomlin, if the standard is the standard- Landry isn’t cutting it.

  • Walt Dongo

    Vaughn will be cut and we will be signing Vick.

  • Applebite

    But the QB has to sell it as well. I can about guarantee you, Jones stared down the receiver on that play. And I don’t care how weak of a secondary you play against, any DB that’s worth a poo, will get that interception if you stare down the receiver long enough. Jones has a history of doing just that, even during his college days. Jones hasn’t changed very much at all.

  • Durango Snowman

    Yikes, it is starting to seem as if Coates might be as much a liability as a play maker.

  • Walt Dongo

    I just watched the “highlights” and this is exactly what I was thinking. Its looking like he is the 4th…maybe even 5th reciever right now behind Rogers. Still too raw maybe? Many question marks so far though.

  • jsteeler

    Vick is and will always be better than Jones, Gradkowski and Vaughn. I say give him a call and put in some plays for the Lefty. We need some QB’s in camp. Vaughn behind that makeshift of a OL is going to get himself killed. I really felt sorry for him.

  • will


  • gjnn

    I don’t know what Vaughn’s done to Mother Hubbard in camp – maybe he steals his food or his toothpaste. It seems like Hubbard is absolutely determined that Vaughn will leave the stadium in a body bag every time they take the field together.

  • Timothy Rea

    Screw Vick man. I remember how bad the offense looked last year with him.. He has nothing left, he’s completely done. They do need more bodies and if we’re going to go with suggestions of people who have done bad things.. how about Manziel? I’d rather have Manziel or Freaking Tebow than Vick.

  • Walt Dongo

    Vick has recent experience. At this point I would prefer Vick as the #2, and hes not even on the team right now lol. Landry/Vaughn/Bruce seem utterly hopeless as stand-ins in one way or another.

  • Jim McCarley

    I think that its unfair to judge Jones when he is not throwing to Ben’s wrs….AB and Wheaton are more experienced than the guys Jones is throwing to….The first time that I saw each play “live” i thought the WRS were to blame for all but the last one and that was a lame duck because of a missed block…The pick six looked like Coates ran a sloppy route and allowed the DB to push him around and get to the ball. The first endzone pick should have been caught by the WR, imo, but I also thought there may have been a bit of pass interference involved as well….The second endzone pick was another sloppy route by Coates imo. Coates seems to be allowing the DBs to push him around too much and make him change his routes just enough to not make some of these catches…..He needs man up and run better routes …oh and I do agree that he seems to broadcast where he is going, too much,….

  • Jacob

    Jones played pretty well in my (controversial) opinion. He moved the ball with some smart reads and had command of the offense. He threw accurately. The players around him really did let him down. If Ben is injured I think we have a decent backup (albeit not franchise) QB who knows the offense.

  • NinjaMountie

    That’s exactly where I sit as well, Dave. First one was all him. It’s nice of Coates to take blame for it but, lets be real, no amount of coming back was stopping that int. Jones looked him down the whole way and you can see the defender taking advantage. The other ones….meh.

  • Shawn S.

    I got beat up for saying it last year pre season. He doesn’t look this bad when he’s throwing to starters. AB and even Wheaton make most of those catches.

    It’s good to see the young receivers taking responsibility and be able to pinpoint what they should have done differently.

  • Sam Scalleat

    I absolutely disagree that Michael Vick is better. The offense last season was completely hamstrung by him being the quarterback. He was not comfortable in the pocket, failed to make even the most basic throws as a quarterback, and couldn’t utilize his best weapon, AB, at all.

    I thought Jones stood in the pocket and moved the ball down the field well last night against what will be the starting eagles defense. That by no means makes the interceptions acceptable. Both of the throws to Coates I thought were his fault, as he saw the coverage and should not have forced the ball, no matter if Coates was at fault for his routes or not. The other two interceptions were just bad luck. I would feel okay with him having to step in (with all the starters on offense) and be able to move the ball down the field like he did last night.

  • Sam Scalleat

    I agree, I think people forget how terrible it was to watch the offense last season with Vick. The only reason we won those games when Ben was out was because of the Defense, Le’veon bell, and Martavis Bryant coming up big when the team needed them to. Vick’s lack of chemistry with AB was also extremely evident. Vick was rarely if ever the reason something good happened during those games.

  • superfan

    Not shown is that GIF above was Landry staring down Coates. That’s the main reason why the DB was able to jump the route. Coates’ only mistake was not working hard back to the ball. The best case scenario in that situation was Coates being able to break up the play. Jones never gave him a chance with the poor decision to throw that pass.

    All that being said, the three other interceptions were not Jones fault. I thought he had an okay night with one bad decision and some horrible luck.

  • Milliken Steeler

    I was on twitter saying the same thing basically last night to Neal. Some of those picks were not on Landry and he did move the team.

    He is way more confident than he use to be and I honestly expect him to continue to progress into a gunslinging, quality number two.

  • PittsburghSports

    Does that matter? The CB stares at the QB pre snap, but then his eyes are on the WR the whole time. You can clearly see that in the gif. Doesn’t matter what Jones is looking at. The CB is reading the WR all the way, and protects the sideline knowing he has Safety help over the top. Just a great play by the CB.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Vick is not better than Jones at this point in his career. I hope, we don’t bring that guy back and I’m doubting we would. If we did for some reason, he would be the number three.

  • WreckIess

    Bottom line is the guy just isn’t good. He’s the 2nd best QB on this team, but that’s really not saying much when the other two are a man who has more injuries than games played and a rookie who couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.

    If the only defense of a QB is that not all of the ints he threw were his fault and that he had one good drive in a half of football then you’re probably not talking about a good quarterback.

  • PittsburghSports

    Maybe having players like Bell, D-Lo, AB, and Wheaton would help LJ’s development a bit. Green being the free agent flop he seems to be hasn’t helped either. Tomlin is playing a risky game with LJ’s confidence by wasting these 2 first preseason games having him go up against other teams 1st team defenses with backup skill players. Ryan Harris appears to be a free agent flop too, as he left the door open all night at RT. Jesses James gave up a sack on that side too.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Coates is playing like a first year player. Doesn’t seem like he learned much in his rookie year.

  • Oh hell no!

  • John A Stewart

    Enough with this guy Jones already he is a BUM.Every Sunday I have to go to church before a Steeler game and pray that Ben doesn`t get hurt. You mean to tell me we dont ave any scouts to check out colleges for a qb.Jones doesn`t even look comfortable behind the center. In the Bengal playoff game he comes in and throws an int immediately like he was instructed to do it.I really hope God hears my prayers this season.

  • SteelersDepot

    You even read the post, John?

  • Ike Evans

    Coates really is baby martavis…..makes the big play but screws up the simple things…..pull ur hair out type players

  • The GreekGeek

    Man, this makes Brucie’s injury sting even more. He was getting older, but Bruce could’ve been the Charlie Batch type of backup we’ve needed the past few years. Unfortunately, it looks like he might be done. I don’t put all the blame on Landry (I even said so in another post) but I definitely don’t have much confidence either. Vaughn to me is still an unknown because he has to spend most of his time running for his life…

  • Kick

    I saw 3 out of 4 interceptions and his wrs did not help him at all. LJ has a big arm , he’s smart, and confident. I don’t know what you look for in a back up QB but I wouldn’t trade him for any back in the league(rookies excluded).

  • Chad Sanborn

    Vaughns stats aren’t nearly as bad as Jones’. Lets let him get some reps with better people in front of him and see what he can do.

  • John A Stewart

    You need too pray with me.

  • Steel PAul

    Team needs to bring in a QB to replace Grad. And provide depth.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    Maybe not but he can’t repeatedly throw into coverage. The pick six was horrible. His big arm never seems to lead a receiver. He has no business being a number 2. It is honestly by default. If Gradkowski wasn’t hurt he is a better option.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Basically my exact thoughts on him. The big difference is going to be that Coates has a much better head on his shoulders.