One might be tempted to think that when a head coach benches an unproductive first-round pick, there might be some degree of dissatisfaction with his play.
But Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said the benching of Jarvis Jones wasn’t like that at all.
“We are not dissatisfied with him,” Butler said, via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It is nothing like that. He is going to be a good player for us. Right now we are going to do what we can to win ballgames, and whatever that takes is what we are going to do.”
At the moment, that includes benching the 17th overall pick behind the perfectly ordinary Jason Worilds.
“He’s just not doing enough detail work right now and Jason Worilds is,” head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday of Jones. “That’s the reality of it. There is more detail in Worilds’ work right now than Jarvis.”
Jones barely played in the second half of last week’s loss to the Raiders, and television cameras showed Butler barking at the rookie on the sidelines at one point.
“They want me to be more technically sound,” Jones said. “I understand the things I have to do. It’s definitely a learning curve. Before I even got here, it has been said that [defensive coordinator Dick] LeBeau’s defense is challenging. I have to keep chopping wood, stay in the film room, stay in the playbook and keep learning. It doesn’t happen overnight.”
Jones is talented enough that he should eventually become the kind of impact outside linebacker they’ve had in Pittsburgh for decades (a line that keeps moving because they keep finding kids and fitting them in and letting guys go when they get old and expensive).
But for the moment, it appears he has a lot of work to do to convince his bosses he deserves that kind of chance.