The Pittsburgh Steelers yield nothing to the rest of the NFL in terms of linebacking legacy. From Hall of Famers like Jack Ham and Jack Lambert to Hell Raisers like Joey Porter, to tacticians like James Farrior, the Pittsburgh Steelers have defined the NFL’s gold standard for linebacking excellence.
- Number 95 occupies a special place in the hearts of Steelers Nation.
No, there’s no Hall of Fame bust or Super Bowl trophy associated with that numeral, but it the number nonetheless holds an almost mythical quality.
So when the Number 95 criticizes today’s Number 95 people pay attention.
Bleacher Report Radio caught up with Steelers legend Greg Lloyd and when asked about his successor at right outside linebacker, Lloyd minced no words:
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.
A brutally harsh criticism from a man who relished his nickname “Just plain nasty.” While his words may be a little too raw, they sting so much because they’re hitting fairly close to the mark.
With injuries ruining LaMarr Woodley’s career, Jason Worilds playing inconsistently, and James Harrison bound for Cincinnati, the Steelers drafted Jones in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Jones boldly requested Number 95 and got it. In the preseason he made splash plays a plenty, and delivered stunning behind the goal line hit of Chris Johnson in 2013 opening day the debacle vs. Tennessee.
But after that Jones disappeared, and ultimately lost his starting job. He started 2014 strong, registering a sack in the season opener vs. Cleveland and then another vs. Carolina. But he also injured his wrist and missed the next 11 weeks.
- By the time Jones returned, James Harrison was back to form, and Jones did nothing to show he deserved more playing time.
Like Shamarko Thomas, Jones counterpart from the 2013 NFL Draft, Jones bears no responsibility for the injuries he’s suffered. But like Thomas, Jones is approaching his third year, which is the year that reality dictates that patience must run thin and excuse making must end.
It’s doubtful Greg Lloyd in golfs with friends who’re capable of outplaying Jarvis Jones. Nonetheless, the burden of proof remains on Jones to show that he can live up to the Steelers linebacker legacy. He’s got a long way to go, and the clock is ticking.