Steelers At Odds: Does Landry Jones Or Cam Thomas Have Better Chance?


Steelers mini-camp begins on June 16th, and then the team will go away until training camp starts at the end of July.

Most of the roster has gone through the paces of OTA’s, and football in shorts has proven just about one thing – our insatiable appetite for football is growing once again.

Much will be revealed and learned about this Steelers squad. Roster spots will be solidified. Cuts will be made. And, for some, there are those who are on the bubble (or cusp as it were) of making this roster after having several cracks at making their mark.

I’m not much of a betting man, but I do love to look at the odds.

The offense is not the defense, and the defense is not the offense. But, who has a better shot at making the 2015 Steelers?

Landry Jones

Landry Jones will be entering his third season. And, while he is just a third string quarterback, he was also a fourth round pick who has done absolutely bubkis since joining the team.

Aug 16, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Stefan Charles (left) and linebacker Jacquies Smith (right rear) cause Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones (3) to fumble during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 19-16. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The former Sooner is proficient at holding a clipboard, but when it comes to leading the offense, he’s leagues behind. Rumor out of OTA’s this season is that he’s improved a  bit with his timing and accuracy. However, he’s never been able to impress enough to usurp the pedestrian Bruce Gradkowski.

In fact, at times he’s stunk up the joint, and has failed to show a glimmer of NFL caliber even during the preseason when he’s facing 2nd and 3rd string defenses.

Many believe that this is Jones’ last shot at making the team. If you’re like me, you believe that Jones won’t even make the cut this season – especially if former Jets QB Tajh Boyd continues to impress and has solid showing at camp and in preseason games.

Some still have faith in Jones, but I think his time is just about up in Pittsburgh.

Whether it happens this season or in next offseason, Jones’ time as a Steeler is soon over – thankfully.

Cam Thomas

Thomas will be entering his 6th season and his second with the Steelers. He was supposed to be the answer to NT and a reliable back up on the ends.

None of that was true, and it pained myself as well as many to see how much of a liability Thomas became rather than an asset.

Thomas’ lack of power and inconsistency only proved why the Chargers were quick to dump him after just one decent season out of four.

Oct 12, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Thomas (96) against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Factor in the rise of Cameron Heyward and the steady reliable play of Brett Keisel, and Thomas had no way of having a long term scenario of proving himself on the field…. thankfully.

Heyward is the leader of the front seven, that’s clear, and second year player Stephon Tuitt will be taking the starting role on the other end after Keisel’s release/retirement. Mix in a bit of Steve McLendon and Daniel McCullers, and there’s just nowhere for Thomas to contribute.

Even as a backup, he hurts the point of attack with his overall lack of strength and speed.

So who has a better shot of making the team this year?

My vote would be with Landry Jones. As much as it pains me to say he is a better option to keep as long as Boyd doesn’t flash too much potential while in camp.

Cam seems like the easy pick for two reasons. Firstly, he’s a poor backup and has a better chance of seeing the field over Landry simply because it would take two injuries at a main position for Jones to see any major action.

Secondly, Thomas is a costly backup. Jones is cheap in comparison. Thomas is set to make $2 million this season. If the Steelers cut him loose, they would save that $2 million while only getting hit with 500k in dead money. Jones is set to only cost $585k total.

The $2 million in savings could mean the difference in getting the other (and way better) Cam signed to a new deal before his original one expires in 2016.

Let’s be frank for a sec – neither one of these guys is best suited for this team and this roster. But, if the Steelers needed to keep one, they probably keep Landry over Thomas for simply the money that’s at stake.

Next: Mike Mitchell: X-facor On Defense


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