Jarvis Jones Not Focused On Benching, Looking Ahead To Playoffs ‘And Beyond’

Over the course of the past several weeks, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison has been on the field for all but one snap. For some reason, following an interception on the offense’s first play of the second half, Arthur Moats played in his place for one snap before Harrison joined the rest of the defense.

Likewise, Bud Dupree on the opposite side has played all but one snap, with that one snap proving to be a touchdown pass. That was not the fault of his replacement, Anthony Chickillo, who recorded a quarterback hit on that play.

All told, the snap counts from the past few games read as follows: Harrison, Dupree: a bunch (also known as all but one); Moats, Chickillo: one apiece; Jarvis Jones: bench warmer. To be more accurate, Jones spent the first game of his career as a healthy player on the game-day inactive list on Sunday. He has been benched.

That is not ideal considering the fact that he is heading into unrestricted free agency after this season and is not having the opportunity to put any more snaps on tape. Although that may be for the best, as, according to Pro Football Focus, Jones has had more snaps rushing the passer than anybody in the league who has not recorded a sack. Not exactly the company you want to keep.

About his current predicament, Jones told Chris Adamski for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that “it is what it is”, and that his focus is more on the team than himself. “Playoff time, man, that’s what I’m focused on”, he said. “Whatever happened over the course of the season, it happened. I’m focused on the plans in front of us, and that’s Cleveland this week. And beyond”.

After it being pointed out that Harrison’s ascension into the starting lineup, and his eventually establishing himself as the every-snap starter, has coincided with the Steelers’ six-game winning streak, Jones acknowledged that the defense “has been ballin’”, and that “they’ve got a tempo” with Harrison and Dupree running the show.

“They’re meshing at the right time, and you can’t take that away from what those guys are doing”, he concluded. It was the voice of somebody who certainly seems to be well aware of the situation that he is in, and the fact that he may have an uncertain future. While he is certainly employable, he may have a hard time landing an opportunity to start in free agency in 2017.

It might be fair to say that Jones has been the worst draft pick that Kevin Colbert has made since coming to Pittsburgh, taking into consideration his contributions to the team relative to where he was selected, with the 17th-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft—especially when they selected an All-Pro in the second round.

On the season, Jones has recorded 38 tackles with one forced fumble and one interception. He has recorded five sacks in 49 career games. Dupree has seven and a half sacks in 22 career games, including three and a half in his past three games.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • SmellyHobo

    I tip my cap to the poor sap that had to scour the internet to find a photo where it looks like Jarvis may be making an impactful play.

  • neopublius

    Best of luck to him next season…in an NFC uniform!

  • nutty32

    It’s hard to hate JJ despite the obvious disappointment due to his class and hustle. It seemed like that game losing touchdown run by Elliot (JJ admitted that it was his assignment to close down that tackle gap in that defense where someone else looped to play the contain) was the last straw and we haven’t seen JJ play much since.

  • Boots

    I really thought his wrist injury was holding him back the past two years and he would show improvement rushing the passers-by this year but I was wrong. I am happy that he’s not becoming a distraction with his benching. He does somethings pretty well, but just never became a complete player for his postion.

  • Applebite

    He’s a good player, but he’s playing out of position for a 3-4 LB. He needs to be inside to take advantage of his skills. We’re not going to see that, however, because the inside is loaded. So unless Timmons calls it quits or something catastrophic happens to Shazier, I’m afraid this might be the end for Jones on the squad.

    For me, this is more of a failure of the scout team, than of the player. Injuries aside, they should have known from watching his college film, he’s more prone to chasing guys down and tackling, than to be an edge rusher.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Using the terms “they’re” and “those guys” instead of “we’re” & “us” is telling.

  • Michael Conrad

    J Jones a nice guy who was drafted to do one thing rush the passer. He failed big time .
    I hope he moves on to a team and gets a chance inside in 3/4 defense.

  • RickM

    Why? He starts off with “us” and then is asked about other people and uses “they”. I thought his response was classy and he gave full credit to the other guys without any bitterness.

  • dany

    “For some reason, following an interception on the offense’s first play of the second half, Arthur Moats played in his place for one snap before Harrison joined the rest of the defense.”

    He had to stay in the sidelines to chew up ben and tell him to get his head out of his a$$

  • Lambert58

    I have no ill will toward Jarvis. He’s an upstanding guy from all I’ve seen and heard. He is a good football player too, just not NFL 3-4 OLB good. In the right situation, I still think he could be effective. ILB? 4-3 OLB? Don’t know. I hated the pick when he was drafted. But looking back on it, maybe it was a good thing because the FO changed the way they drafted after him. It seems they went away from production and toward speed and talents. That has served us quite well, especially in this past draft.

  • Steelers12

    for those of you that think jarvis jones is automatically gone this off-season i believe you might be disappointed because i dont think there will be a long of teams trying to sign him and Steelers might bring him back cheap to add depth to their new LB core

  • Steelers12

    i think on 4-3 team like the Rams he will be effective

  • george

    No it’s the FO fault not the scout team. Colbert and Tomlin both admitted they didn’t do much of an evaluation of him because they believed he wouldn’t last till the 17th pick. Colbert said when he fell to 17 they “believed he was too special” to pass up. They based their assessment on the fact that he had 12 sacks his senior year, he played in a 3-4 defense in a conference that had superior competition.

  • Ralph Wagner

    Jones,Moats, Chickillo can’t beat out 38 year old Harrison. What’s wrong with this picture?

    I guess they are hoping Harrison retires, that’s the only way they will get to start. LOL

  • WreckIess

    If he’s not getting a helmet now I don’t see why they would bring him back next season. Especially if with Bud, Chick, other potential free agents, draft picks, and maybe even Harrison available to the team.

  • WilliamSekinger

    One thing no one can complain about is that Jones wasn’t given the opportunity. This team has bent over backwards to give him every opportunity to succeed. He just hasnt.

  • Steelers12

    yeah i get your point but he shows hustle on run plays and would already know playbook so i could see them bringing him back for depth only

  • Work Toward

    He will return to the Steelers…. and prove himself as he continuously grow better. Remember James Harrison’s plight?

  • WreckIess

    It just wouldn’t make sense. They obviously don’t want him on the field and he isn’t playing special teams. He hustles, but there are plenty of players that hustle, can get you more sacks than he gets, and also can play special teams.

  • WreckIess

    Well it’s good that he gets it I guess, even though that doesn’t really matter. I had low expectations for him before the season and he somehow found a way to play below those. I had him at 4 or 5 sacks this season and to not even get one (or even get close to one) is a huge failure on his part.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Good point, I got focused on that one part of his statement.

  • Steelers12

    we will see

  • nutty32

    As I recall, the Steelers chose to ignore JJ’s bad 40 times & workouts when all the other teams dropped him down their board.

  • SeventhHeavan

    Haha…Jones is long gone. The writing is on the wall for that dude. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Jarvis Jones will go down as the biggest Steelers bust of all time.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    You know, it’s not that he has played poorly.
    But he just had never lived up to what were apparently oversized expectations.

    I remember watching the draft and was soooooo excited when he ‘fell’ to us!!

    Oh well.

  • VaDave

    I saw that college tape and for what little I know, came away unimpressed. I didn’t see him beat a one on one. Pretty much it was all clean shots on the QB with little or no interference. I also saw him jogging one day during his rookie year when I was at the incline parking lot. I hardly recognized him as he was jogging up the service road towards me. Too skinny at the hips to generate any sort of lateral power, which leaves you with two moves, bull rush, or beat the tackle around the edge. Results are in, can’t move a 300 lbs. tackle on a bull rush, and isn’t fast or explosive enough to get around the edge.

  • ND_Steel

    Of all time? Ever here of Huey Richardson? Thought not….

  • SeventhHeavan

    Sure have. I believe first round pick in 1991. Jones just unseated him as the #1. They never gave that guy a chance. He never started and was cut in his first year. The fact that Jones had so many snaps to prove himself and wound up on the bench along with all the hype coming out of Georgia. To me, makes him “all time”.

  • SilverSteel

    Agreed – I think he would be a very serviceable backup and he should learn the ILB and OLB spots as a backup to boost his worth. He is no edge rusher but I would agree with many other people here that he may flourish as an ILB.

  • SilverSteel

    Grammar police onsite – lookout! 🙂

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Amen.

    We always talk about players having to “earn” their snaps. IMO, Jarvis never “earned” the starting job with his play on the field (it was strictly based on his draft position). Harrison was/is/and forever will be the better player.

    I don’t hate Jarvis Jones. He is by all accounts a hard worker and a good teammate. But I don’t believe he has the physical ability to beat NFL left tackles when pass rushing. And that is what he is required to do in our offense.

    People talk him being a good run stuffer? He has 80 solo tackles in 4 seasons. TOTAL. Where are all these tackles? Anthony Chickillo has 21 solo tackles and 2.5 sacks this year alone in rotational duties.

    I’ve listened to fans (for 4 years now) saying, “Be patient. Give him a chance. He was injured. Wait until he’s healthy.” And now they want him as a back up? At some point you have to come to grips with reality and realize he is not the player we hoped and cut your losses.

  • SilverSteel

    True – and also his arms and body is not “cut” like Shazier or Davis. He looks kind of soft. I bet if two years ago, he would have worked out with Deebo we might be having a different conversation.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Great post! I agree 100% Although I have to admit to being one of those saying ‘be patient’ I am through with Jarvis and wish him well in FA. I do not want him back even for depth.

  • VaDave

    I once took a picture with Debo. We’re the same height, but he’s about about 8 inches wider at the hip, and I weigh 200 lbs. Now I can lift until the cows come home, but would doubt I could add an additional 8″ from hip point to hip point. Either you’re born with the genetics, or not. Harrison has the perfect build for that position a short, broad build. Jones does not. I don’t have much education in kinetics, but no doubt Debo could help with his strength training, but Jones has the wrong kind of build to generate the kind of leverage Debo can.

  • Steelers12

    ok so at least you understood what i was saying

  • DirtDawg1964

    I’m hoping Suggs gets injured and Jones is signed to replace him. Would make facing the Ravens less daunting.

  • tequila0341

    Let’s be honest – it’s not like we generated a ton of pressure from the OLBs vs Flacco with Jarvis or without him. The only sack we got was Bud chasing Flacco down after 5 seconds.

  • DirtDawg1964

    Not even close. Dick Leftridge. #3 pick in 1966. Played four games. Jamain Stephens would be next on my list. Did so badly in a conditioning test Cowher cut him hours later. Jones might be third on my list. Waiting to see how his career plays out though. The guy can cover and play the run. Still have hope for him as an ILB or a 4-3 guy.

  • RickM

    Agree. Richardson, a #15 pick, played in all of 5 games and lasted only one season. He joined two other teams and didn’t register a stat of any kind.

    Jones, a #17 pick, will be playing in his 50th game on Sunday and he even had a strip sack in last year’s playoff win over Cincinnati. Jones has been a major disappointment, but Richardson was easily a worse pick.

  • JustaCrazySteelerFan

    My feelings exactly.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He actually has been working out with Harrison the past two years, as most of the young linebackers do, and has become noticeably stronger. Doesn’t give his ankles any more bend though, but strength wasn’t his issue this year.

  • Izzice

    I’m still rooting for him.

  • ND_Steel

    They gave him chances in the preseason, he was stiff as a board, that’s why he never even made it out of camp. As our #1 pick, he came with plenty of hype too. JJ is the worst of Colbert’s era, but it’s hard to beat Huey.