Steelers Game Preview: Players To Watch Vs. The Redskins

2 of 6

1. Jarvis Jones

Aug 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Giants quarterback David Carr (8) looks to pass under pressure from Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) during the second quarter at Heinz Field. The New York Giants won 18-13. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With Jarvis Jones being a first round pick, he will almost always be under the microscope his entire rookie season. With James Harrison being released and Jason Worilds getting in Coach Tomlin’s doghouse after several penalties last preseason game, Jarvis Jones is going to have a chance to get a lot of reps with the second team, and a good handful with the first team.

In his first NFL action, Jones didn’t look bad, but in my mind, he wasn’t anything special either. I didn’t expect him to be a star right out of the gate, so the play he presented Saturday night was about what I expected.

Jones did a nice job at getting after the quarterback, and as shown in the picture, he was often a step away from getting a sack several times. His coverage could have been better, but it wasn’t awful either. But to me, his biggest issue now is run defense. Jones has not shown the strength and discipline needed to man the outside linebacker spot in the Steelers defense. He often cheated inside and did not have the strength to set the edge at times.

Against the Redskins, I am very interested to see if Jones can improve his run defense, as well as his pass rushing skills. After leading the nation in sacks last year at Georgia, the coaching staff, along with Steelers fans, are crossing their fingers that Jarvis Jones can start to bring back “SackMan Jones” starting Monday night against the Redskins.