Steelers notebook: Rookie QB Jones to get extended look
By Alan Robinson
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 12:24 p.m.
• Landry Jones, it's your turn. The rookie quarterback, uneven to date in the preseason, will get most of the playing time Thursday at Carolina, in part to guarantee that Ben Roethlisberger and backup Bruce Gradkowski will be healthy going into the season. “I feel a lot more comfortable now than I did at the beginning of training camp, just from a reps aspect,” said Jones, who is 14 of 31 for 159 yards this preseason. “I'm getting a lot more reps and I'm able to practice more.”
• Coach Mike Tomlin said the starters will play varying levels depending on what backups he wants to see. He did not define playing time for any starters, including Roethlisberger. He also called his offense a “group in development” but said he is pleased with the rapport developing between Roethlisberger, Gradkowski and the wide receivers, who are in mostly new roles.
• Heath Miller (knee) remains unable to practice but Tomlin said “things are progressing nicely” with him. Neither the Steelers nor Miller are hinting when the Pro Bowl tight end might return from a serious injury that occurred Dec. 23 and involved three ligaments. “I have no clue,” Miller said. “It's still the same thing, (I'm) trying to get better every day.”
• Left guard Ramon Foster believes the offensive line has mastered the zone blocking techniques installed this season to create more outside running room, despite the constant rotation of running backs behind them. ”This is something we wanted to get down,” Foster said. “Everybody is committed to it and (now) it's just making it official in Week 1.”
• Before training camp started, defensive end Brett Keisel challenged some rookies and younger veterans to seize roles and prove they belong in the league. “Markus Wheaton, Shamarko Thomas, Jarvis (Jones) is playing well,” said Keisel, referring to specific players. “Even the young guys in starting roles, Emmanuel Sanders, Steve McLendon, guys that I was referring to — yeah I think they've accepted the challenge.”
• If Isaac Redman is going to run his way into Steelers' opening day lineup, he'll have to do it in practice. Redman (pinched nerve) and rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones (AC sprain) will be held out of the preseason finale Thursday in Carolina. Jonathan Dwyer, Felix Jones and LaRod Stephens-Howling will get carries as the running back competition plays out. “I would like to be the starter. I would like to have the opportunity to distance myself away from the competition,” said Redman, who has had only two preseason carries. “But it's tough to do that when you're not on the field (and) not playing.”
• The Steelers don't like Roethlisberger improvising too much because it increases his risk for injury, yet such a play yielded a TD pass to Dwyer against the Chiefs on Saturday. Roethlisberger is hinting he won't cut down on his playmaking. “It's worked so far for me,” he said. “I've been semi-successful in my career. I'm just going to continue to keep doing what I have to do to win games.” Center Maurkice Pouncey said the offensive line doesn't mind adjusting on the fly. “You don't want to take away the things he's good at,” he said. “If he can still move around and run and throw the ball down the field, let him do it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Draftees’ longevity key for NFL success
- Rice cornerback among 3 draft prospects to visit Steelers
- Despite many moves, Steelers’ depth still a work in progress
- Steelers get familiar exhibition opponents