Howard Jones, OLB
Aug 16, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Howard Jones (34) returns a fumble against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 19-16. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
This guy is the camp story of the summer and has blown out of the gates prior to the game versus the Bills. Howard Jones is the feel good story – his work ethic, personality, and now his accomplishments on the field have won the hearts of many in Steeler Nation. The fast and agile former Shepherd University wide receiver turned linebacker has accrued some major brownie points over the last two preseason games.
This Division II rookie is pouring it on, and his performance over the last two games (along with his partner in Splash Play Crime, Vic So’oto) are going to make things very difficult for the coaches when it comes time to decide who stays and who goes. Hard to imagine that Jones ran a 4.5 40 time and went undrafted this year.
Or are they really? Both 2nd team backups – Arthur Moats and Cris Carter – are having sub par preseasons. Were the rest of the OLB core to experience the same struggles, they more than likely skirt by the cuts and are safe in finding roster spots for the season. However, that’s certainly not the case with Jones (or So’oto). They both are doing very well and probably making Carter and Moats sweat a little under the collar in the tape room.
It’s a great problem to have, so I doubt anyone is complaining.