The Steelers Brain Trust offered Steelers Nation a classic lesson in understanding franchise operations this week:
- Listen not to what we say, watch what we do
One day after Mike Tomlin provided good news about Le’Veon Bell’s injury, the Steelers traded linebacker Adrian Robinson for Eagles running back Felix Jones.
Clearly the Steelers are not counting on Bell’s availability early in the season, and clearly they are not sold on going into the season with Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman as their lead running backs. LaRod Stephens-Howling also remains and option, but he is seen as a third down back and return specialist.
Beyond that, Baron Batch’s chances of making the team are also impacted, although his ability to play special teams will certainly help his cause.
Jones Not Certainty, Let Alone a Savior
The Steelers are not counting on Felix Jones as a savior. Indeed, Steelers Digest editor Bob Labriola put the move in even more stark terms:
Trade of Robinson 4 Jones: Certainly worth a shot, but no guarantees Jones even makes the team. http://t.co/M2SsSVJOM0
— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) August 23, 2013
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Jones in 2008, one pick ahead of Rashard Mendenhall in what is now the Steelers infamous 2008 draft.
And if Steelers fans think that Mendenhall failed to live up to his promise, Jones offers even less promise as a back whose rushing production topped out at 800 yards in 2010, which was also Mendenhall’s best season, when he ran for close to 400 more yards.
On the defensive side, the move all but assures that Chris Carter will get a roster spot, and opens the door for Alan Baxter to land a spot as well.