Jul 26, 2014; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) works against offensive tackle Mike Adams (right) in drills during training camp at Saint Vincent College. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steeler OLB Jarvis Jones has worked very hard during this offseason, and he is hungry to prove that he is much better than how he looked during his rookie campaign.
Jones came in with numerous accolades and achievements under his belt while playing at the collegiate level at Georgia. But, the former Bulldog failed to reach many fans’ expectations by only racking up 1 sack all season long.
Coming out of college, I had all the success in the world. Everything you wanted to do as a pass-rusher, all the sacks, all the other stuff, that’s gone now. I’ve got to find my way of becoming an elite pass-rusher here in the NFL.
Jones hopes to capitalize in 2014 with the help of assistant coach Joey Porter. Though Jones feels that he is far from needing an “attitude adjustment,” Porter will surely light a fire and extra level of intensity that perhaps Jones is not aware of at this time. Per Gerry Dulac’s article, Jones admittedly shed pounds during the offseason, but weighed in at 245. That probably means fat replaced with muscle. Always a good swap. Jones also has focused on his technique, and that has already become evident during training camp.
In a particular instance during drills, Jones bull rushed left tackle Kelvin Beachum and put him back on his heels, allowing Jones to take an inside route to the QB. That’s something Steeler Nation would have never seen from the rookie last season, but should become a staple in Jones’ arsenal be something that will aid his bread and butter – the outside rush.
The Steelers are banking on Jones being a much better pass rusher. They need him to be. He’s going to need some help along the way. Now that Cam Heyward has moved from the left side to the ride, Jones will need some help from teammates Cam Thomas and Stephon Tuitt. Hopefully Tuitt will be all that Jones needs to have favorable matchups against the offensive lines he faces.
Will Jones be able to become a QB sack hungry machine this season? That’s the goal, but I’m not sure if he’ll get there quite yet.
I’m setting my sites on 6.5 sacks this season – a vast improvement, but still not quite where the Steelers need him to be.
What do you think, Nation? The line is set at 6.5 – where do you think Jones will land with sack totals for 2014?