Former Steelers LB Gives Honest Criticism Of Jarvis Jones
It’s a sign you could see amidst the crowds at the Steelers home field of Three Rivers Stadium during the 90’s. Former Steelers linebacker Greg Lloyd was a staple on a Bill Cowher defense that had a reputation for its toughness and stinginess.
Lloyd spoke with Sirius XM Bleacher Report Radio Monday, and if you are a Jarvis Jones fan, you might want to ‘avoid Lloyd’ and what he had to say about the young Steelers linebacker.
"From what I’ve seen of Jarvis Jones, and don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan, but from what I’ve seen him do, I could take a guy from the golf course I play at and have him do the same thing – just run up the field."
I’m going to guess that Lloyd doesn’t play gold with any current or soon to be NFL players nor does he play at a golf course that’s exclusively for young people…
Jones Needs To Become A Leader
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Lloyd should not be mistaken for a hater. In fact he really does like Jones and thinks he has potential. There’s just one major issue he has right now with Jones: Leadership.
"What I want to see is Jarvis Jones to become a leader. I want to see him be the guy that says ‘hey guys, follow me. I’m gonna show you how to do it. I’m gonna show you how to practice. I’m gonna show you how to prepare, because a lot of this has to do with, not just being a physical specimen and showing up on Sunday, the majority of football is done Wednesday through Friday.’"
What Lloyd says makes a lot of sense. But, is it really a problem of Jones that he hasn’t reached that point yet? Keep it in perspective here. He did play for Dick LeBeau his first two seasons and told reporters late this past season that it took almost two years to learn the defense where he doesn’t have to think about where he needs to be on the field.
Hard to be a lead the pack when you are still trying to figure out which way to hold the map.
Lloyd’s Pedigree Influencing Criticism
Don’t think that Lloyd has a leg to stand on to criticize Jones? Au contraire, my friend.
Remember, Greg Lloyd was a late round pick from a small non-Division I school. The Steelers drafted Lloyd in the 6th round from Fort Valley State University back in 1987. He knows a thing or two about being a big impact early. Lloyd racked up seven sacks and snagged an interception in just his second year.
In ten years with the Steelers, he was credited with 53.5 sacks, which is good for 6th all-time on the Steelers. From early on, Lloyd was a leader on that defense and was well known as being a tough and mean SOB.
Conversely, Jones (who came from a big Division-I school and was a first round draft selection) has yet to make a big impact as a pass rusher and be the leader that Lloyd was and expects Jones to rise up to.
In all fairness, Jones has been injury prone since his first season which has rightly held back his development a bit. Key in the fact that he was employed under a DLB drawn up defense, and there’s no wonder why his impact has been stunted.
What will Jones look like under a Keith Butler defense with continued coaching by Joey Porter?
I’m sure that Lloyd is as interested as the rest of Steeler Nation to see what happens as Jones plays out the rest of his contract.