Much has been made about the changes across the Steelers roster in the last couple of years and linebacker Larry Foote knows that the team is “going through a bit of a transition period” right now.
Such a transition period calls for new players to step into roles vacated by veteran contributors, something that will be happening on both sides of the ball in Pittsburgh this season. One of the players who will be asked to take on a new role is first-round pick Jarvis Jones, but Foote thinks it may not be an immediate trip to the starting lineup for the rookie even though he has experience in a 3-4 scheme from his days at the University of Georgia.
“It’s going to be difficult, especially outside,” Foote said, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “There is so much technique, where you’ve got to line up, inside or outside. The fortunate thing is they [Jones’ Georgia Bulldogs] played a 3-4. … I’ve seen a lot come in as rookies and not have a clue, but you can tell he’s been around our type of football.”
Jones and Jason Worilds are the choices as a replacement for James Harrison in the starting lineup and history says that the money should be on the veteran winning the starting job after players like LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons started their careers on the bench in Pittsburgh. Jones doesn’t need to start to make an impact, however. If his collegiate pass rushing skills translate to the NFL, he’ll be on the field often in his rookie season and the transition period would be less painful in at least one spot for the Steelers.