It appears that the reports of the death of Landry Jones NFL career have been greatly exaggerated.
The operative word above would be “appears,” but we’ll get to that in a moment. But for now, consider everything that has transpired to get Landry Jones to this point. When the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Tajh Boyd the conventional wisdom was that Jones had better be looking over his shoulder (although Jim Wexell argued to the contrary.)
Then the Steelers signed Tyler Murphy and Devin Gardner as undrafted rookie free agent wide receivers who were converting from quarterbacks. Nothing highly unusual about that, but then the Steelers started giving both men snaps under center in OTA’s and mini camp and they continued to get time at quarterback once training camp started.
In part, the Steelers took these steps out of necessity. With Bruce Gradkowski out, and Mike Tomlin generously giving Ben Roethlisberger “veteran’s days” someone had to pick up the slack and the Steelers have always brought four quarterbacks to training camp.
- Going into training camp Landry Jones was fighting for his NFL life, and the early word from St. Vincent’s was that he wasn’t exactly winning the fight.
On day one, Landry Jones threw two picks in short yardage drills. On day two, rookie Doran Grant picked off Jones. After the second day in pads, Dale Lolley declared: “The Landry Jones experiment has not worked out. He’s slightly better than he was before, but not enough that he’s a sure thing.”
Yet a day later, Lolley was reversing course, reporting from the Steelers night practice at Latrobe Stadium that Jones looked the best he has in 3 years and, while qualify that Jones wasn’t starter material, claimed that he belonged. And yet another day later, Lolley was declaring that Jones had solidified his hold on the 3rd quarterback slot.
Lolley is not the only reporter to sing Jones’ praises. PennLive’s Jacob Klingler has gotten on Mike Tomlin on the record complimenting Jones for taking advantage of his increased snaps. Jim Wexell has recounted sessions where the ball didn’t hit the ground.
- That appears to be a stark turn around for a troubled player in 1 week of training camp.
But again, “appears” is the operative word, because throwing the ball well in drills or scrimmages is one thing, doing it during an actual game is something else, and the Steelers 1st preseason game is still several days away.
But perhaps even that may bode well for Landry Jones. It’s been said that in 2014 and 2013, Jones played better in preseason than he played in practice – which means he must have really played poorly in practice….
Time will tell, but for now Landry Jones future with the Steelers looks more secure as he seems to be one player who has turned a corner for the better.