2016 Player Exit Meetings – OLB Jarvis Jones


The Pittsburgh Steelers find that their 2016 season ended a bit prematurely, and are undergoing the exit meeting process a couple weeks sooner than they would have liked. Never the less, what must be done must be done, and we are now at the time of the year where we close the book on one season and look ahead to the next.

While we might not know all the details about what goes on between Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2016 season.

Player: Jarvis Jones

Position: Outside Linebacker

Experience: 4 Years


If I’m not mistaken, Jarvis Jones now holds the distinction of having the shortest tenure of any first-round draft pick under Kevin Colbert. While he may not have been the only one to fail to sign a second contract, he is the first—out of three, to be fair—to have his fifth-year option declined since it came into being with the 2011 draft class. Cameron Heyward and David DeCastro had theirs picked up, and Ryan Shazier’s will be an inevitability as well.

Jones has, in fact, already found a new home for himself in Arizona, where seemingly so many former Steelers have ended up over the course of the past decade for one reason or another. The number of former Steelers coaches and players on the coaching staff I suppose may have something to do with it. But I digress.

Entering his fourth and ostensibly final season, Jones began the year as the starting right outside linebacker ahead of James Harrison, and even saw the bulk of the playing time, though Harrison was still leaned more heavily upon in the more important situations.

He did show improvements, and generally played the run well, even getting after the passer on occasion without actually bringing him down, but it’s hard to justify keeping somebody in the starting lineup at outside linebacker if they’re not going to pick up sacks.

His only sack of the season in fact came in the meaningless regular season finale against the Browns, and it happened to come against Joe Thomas. That in fact may have been the best game of his career, also recording a pass deflection and a forced fumble.

But he was only playing in that game because it meant nothing to the Steelers’ playoff future. Harrison had surpassed him on the depth chart several games go, and in fact had begun to take all of the snaps, leaving Jones on the bench.

It’s kind of hard to imagine a player improving much more after four seasons. I’m not exactly expecting some surprise awakening in him out in Arizona. While he isn’t a bad player, he simply doesn’t do the most important task of his position well enough to justify much playing time.

About the Author

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

    …he’s better suited inside, than out. His skills translates to ILB. The Steelers needed an OLB. If the Cards realize this fact, he’ll be another James Farrior like story. A player who was being used out of position with the team that drafted him, only to rise up to be an asset for his next team.

    The Jets picked Farrior up in the first round as an OLB, thinking he’ll do wonders for their 4-3 defense, he was totally miscast, yet still flashed his abilities with them. But once he was allowed to walk away, the Jets thought he was a bust,….The Steelers found themselves a true player on the inside. It was as if he was part of the team’s lore from the beginning.

    The thing that bothers me is, how did the Steelers not see this in Jones?

  • falconsaftey43

    Because they desperately needed him to be a productive OLB. They had Shazier and Timmons locking down the inside with a great backup in Williams. No reason to even consider him there. They really needed someone to show up outside, so they kept hoping Jones would come through. He never did, so they moved on. I think he’ll could be a pretty decent ILB, and a better fit than outside since he can’t rush the passer, but if you thought Timmons trying to cover TEs down the seams or WRs anywhere, then Jones isn’t going to be any sort of improvement.

  • Michael James

    Sorry man, but you can’t assume Jones will be good inside just because Farrior was. That’s still very very unlikely to happen. Not every UDFA linebacker becomes the next James Harrison. In fact no UDFA LB has played even remotely close to James Harrison’s level. It’s the same with Farrior.
    Farrior was a leader, an alpha-male, a good athlete and he actually played ILB in college. Jones is no alpha-male, he is a bad athlete and he has never played ILB before.
    I do think Jarvis is a nice person, but if we look at the facts, he’s just an average OLB who can’t rush the passer. He always will be.

  • VaDave

    Farrior also had the advantage of playing behind linemen like Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, Kemo VanOlhoffen, and Bret Kiesel which didn’t hurt him any. I really like Tuitt, Heyward, and Hargrave, but I don’t think as a group they’re in the same class as their predecessors. To your point, as for Jones’ success at ILB, unless he’s in a situation where the DL can “Keep Him Clean”, I agree with you, I find it doubtful.

  • Keith Evans

    Colbert saw his slow 40 time as a positive – the rest is history.

  • Jack Hambert

    Agree with Michael. I don’t think the Steelers are so narrow minded that the notion of moving him would not have been considered. However, we do know that sometimes players return after a stint elsewhere. If someone else tests that notion, we could bring him back a-la Gay or Harrison.

  • RickM

    Unlike many, the guy himself never really bothered me. I thought he gave it all he had. It was just a very rare 1st-round whiff by the FO. I hope they’ve learned to grade college OLB’s a little differently because of JJ. Getting college sacks through effort alone does not translate well to the NFL. You need some strong pass rush moves coming out of college.

  • RickM

    Unlike many, the guy himself never really bothered me. I thought he gave it all he had. It was just a very rare 1st-round whiff by the FO. I hope they’ve learned to grade college OLB’s a little differently because of JJ. Getting college sacks through effort alone does not translate well to the NFL. You need some strong pass rush moves coming out of college.

  • Applebite

    Interestingly, the Jets and some of their fans pretty much said the same of Farrior….