Landry Jones has “no idea” if Steelers see him as their future quarterback


Former (and possibly future) Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch has openly wondered whether the team drafted quarterback Landry Jones to eventually supplant starter Ben Roethlisberger.

Jones reacted to that notion with a smile and a shake of the head, per the Associated Press.

I have no idea,” Jones said.  “You might want to talk to the coaches or Mr. Rooney on that one, what they want to do.  I’m just here to learn football.  They give me an opportunity to come play.”

The AP items address the possibility of Jones replacing Roethlisberger dismissively, calling it “preposterous” and suggesting that the 31-year-old Roehtlisberger “could easily play for the better part of another decade before the Steelers need to get serious about a successor.”

While there’s a strong chance that assessment is right, Roethlisberger has been banged up plenty during his career, with ailments both real and exaggerated.  He’s an old 31, and he’s not a classic pocket passer who doesn’t need mobility to be effective.

Roethlisberger is at his best when he lugs his big body out of the pocket, shedding would-be tacklers and making throws on the run arguably more accurate than those he could make standing still.  As he gets closer to 35, he may not continue to have the ability to evade defensive ends and linebackers behind the line of scrimmage, putting a serious crimp in his overall game.

Then there’s the fact that his contract will expire after the 2015 season, barring an extension.  As his cap number grows and grows via a series of cap-managing restructurings, Roethlisberger acquires more and more leverage for his next contract.  At a minimum, the Steelers need to have a Plan B in the event Ben decides he wants far more than the team can or will pay.

Jones could end up being their best bet, especially if he’s able to find the potential that he had before he deteriorated into a round-four prospect.

Again, chances are Roethlisberger will remain the guy, and that Jones will be the next Dennis Dixon, who plays out his four-year contract and then moves on.  Still, the Steelers at least realize that aging backups may not be the best approach when employing an aging starter who may want his retirement contract to be bigger than the front office intends.

44 responses to “Landry Jones has “no idea” if Steelers see him as their future quarterback

  1. Ben better watch out. If they get tired of him making demands about what kind of offence they run, they may find Landry to be much more agreeable.

  2. Landry Jones is a talented QB with lots of character and determination. He could be the next “guy” for the Steelers for years to come. If the coaches do their job, Jones should look like an NFL starter in a year and Big Ben should have to keep his game at 100%.

  3. Steelers will groom Landry to be the starter. We all saw what Ben can do when he plays healthy, and I have a feeling he plays 16 games this season healthy. Oline is going to be much better than in previous seasons. But I dont think he plays past 35. Landry will be the starter after Ben. I wouldnt be surprised if its in less than 3 seasons.

  4. The Steelers should have a Plan B for a quarterback who can’t score points or win games when the defense doesn’t carry him on its back … and sometimes when it does …. like when he couldn’t get a win in a HOME game of playoff like win or go home importance when the Steeler defense gave up only 6 points to the Bengals.

    Plan A was firing Bruce Arians who went on to get rookie Andrew Luck and the lowly Colts into the playoffs and is now the head coach of the Cardinals.

    Meanwhile the Steelers sat on the couch and watched the playoffs.

  5. I don’t understand why this is a story. Every team needs a viable back up quarterback. In Charlie and Byron, the Steelers had too aging, immobile sitting ducks. Ben scrambles a lot and takes a beating at times. The Steelers need someone on the sidelines to step in if he can’t go for a game or two.

    Landry was a 4th round draft choice! He’s there to be a back up quarterback! Where was this scrutiny when the Patriots drafted Ryan Mallet a couple of years ago?

    Ben will be the quarterback in Pittsburgh until he hangs up his cleats. I’d bet my last dollar on that fact…

    Move on and find a really story Mike.


  6. Ben’s contract expiring after 2015 season will be perfect timing. He’ll get another ring or two, and then get overpaid by some desperate team.

    Come to think of it, there’s a team in our division that’s in desperation mode and recently overpaid their average QB. I’m sure Flacco will be cut by 2016, so it might work out perfect for Ben.

  7. People are so far off.

    In 83′, the steelers passed on Marino. The same year, Bradshaw was out with a career ending injury. It took Pittsburgh 21 years to get another franchise quarterback. In a pass happy league, the same mistake will not be done again. Jones is there to be the QB, WHEN BEN IS DONE. He will be mature to handle the position and will KNOW the Steeler way. If they had taken Marino back in 83′ the Super Bowl total might be in the teens by now. Trust in the best team in NFL history.

  8. Landry Jones is a great addition to the Steelers aging backup problem but I do not see Landry as the next successor to Ben.

    My best guess is that he’s a quality backup for a couple of years, plays great in the preseasons, and then becomes trade bait for a future high round draft.

    I see Landry Jones as someone else next starting quarterback…not the Steelers.

  9. only because crown is so obsessed with the ravens….lol at ben winning 2 more superbowls. with ravens and bengals in the division they will be lucky to make the playoffs. dalton and flacco are younger and healthier. and really lol at ben playing here because the ravens are cutting flacco. nice to have dreams crown. but at least try to make sense. practice hard landry. you will be the starter at some point this year

  10. Ben is in the October of his career. The way he plays the game, which makes him so effective, will be what ends his career. He will be more like McNabb than Marino. Theore he continues to play, the more you will see him break down. When was the last time he played an entire season? To compare, Flacco has not missed a game, knock wood, because he a more of a pocket passer. All that said, he scares the crap out of me until the clock reads 0:00

  11. You all just keep on whacking on the Steel City Team…..LOL. We will see your sorry asses in the playoffs.

  12. Steelers were smart to pursue a more viable backup than Batch or Leftwich. However, it does appear the team is going out of its way to make its franchise qb uncomfortable. Drafting his replacement, getting rid of all his wr’s, consistent inconsistency on the O-line, getting rid of his O-Coordinator, letting his buddy and blind-side protector twist in the wind, etc., etc, etc. Don’t most teams lucky enough to have a franchise qb try to build around him rather than make him increasingly uncomfortable?

  13. Gees crown …. your obsession with Raven bashing is a little much.

    My reaction to this story was that it is a perfect response by a rookie. Whether true or not he’s not letting himself get caught up in it. He’s staying focused on playing football. Even as a Ravens fan I know Ben won’t be going anywhere until it’s time. Question is will he know when it is time? I think he will.

    And just to keep it fun he’ll know it is time after a few years of getting owned by the Ravens and drilled into the ground by Suggs/Dumervil/Ngata and the shiny new Arthur Brown.

  14. Every team should always be “grooming” their 2nd and 3rd string QB’s to be starters, while giving the majority of the 1st team reps to whomever is slated to start the next game.

    The Steelers should “see” Jones, Big Ben, and Batch as their future QB.

    I mean, why the hell else would these guys even be on the team? Maybe I’m missing something but as far as I understand there isn’t really much that would change if they do or don’t see Jones as a future starter.

  15. I am not a Steelers fan but am a fan of Ben’s play even when he’s not 100% the guy is a threat. Theres nothing wrong with the Steelers looking to the future since Bens style is not something most other QB’s could handle physically year in and year out. He’s probably got 5-6 more years in him…

    But why has it become such a must that as soon as you draft a guy he has to start IMMEDIATELY!

    Relax and be happy you have drafted for the future at the position, Charlie Batch wasnt gonna be around forever!

  16. ozymandias121 says:
    May 7, 2013 12:45 PM
    Can anyone name the last QB who was drafted in a late round who waited and became anything good? Besides Brady?
    Matt Hasselbeck, Kurt Warner (not drafted at all), Brad Johnson was a better than average starter as well. And all of them either have a ring or played in a SB. Arguably the greatest QB ever, Montana, was a third rounder. Johnny Unitas was a tenth rounder or something. And all of them either have a ring or several rings or played in a SB. Make fun of Romo, but to play at his level after being undrafted is pretty remarkable also. One problem with the lower round Qbs is that some teams seem to have the philosophy of not wanting to build a good offense because their QB isn’t some first rounder. For example, look at how the Seahawks for years with Hasselbeck had the dregs of the dregs for WRs. I used to call them “Maxwell House” good to the last drop, they were so unclutch. A well built O is a good thing for any QB.

    Look at the 9 ers, they had high draft picks for years and made a lot of them count. They had a nice talent base so when Harbaugh decided to go to Kaepernick, he had good players around him, and his talent enhanced those players. He wasn’t trying to carry them nor were they trying to carry him. And with a lesser talented but solid QB in Smith, they also had some success.

    The Steelers were coming off a more rare down year when they drafted BR, but they still had a good team around him. It’s one big reason he was able to be efficient as a rookie starter thrown in there unexpectedly.

    I am one of the .000000001% of people on this earth who refuses to call every SB winning QB a “franchise QB” or “elite” though. All you need is an above average starter who can make some plays when you need him to. I’d rather have that and a good defense than an elite QB any day. I know, because my team used to win SBs when their team was less QB centric. Now they have all the pretty stats on offense and no ring to show for it.

  17. lackofabetter says: May 7, 2013 11:33 AM

    I hope this kid works out, Haven’t had a decent #2 in a really long time.

    I had one of those this morning, sucker shot right out… Oh, wait, you mean Quarterback? No Jones is not Roethlisberger’s heir. The Steelers won’t be looking for his replacement for a few more years, at least 2-3.

  18. You better believe Roethlisberger is going to be difficult for the Steelers to re-sign. He’s going to be impossible… mainly because he is surrounded by a local sports media who worship the ground on which he walks.
    One pin-headed colunnists has written numerous times that Roethlisberger is better than Bradshaw and that he will retire with the most rings of any quarterback in NFL history.
    If a quarterback hears and reads that kind of garbage often enough, he’s naturally going to believe it.
    Because of a biased local sports media and a stifling Steelers defense, Roethlisberger has never had a reason to work hard to sharpen his game.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  19. crownofthehelmet says:
    May 7, 2013 12:14 PM
    Ben’s contract expiring after 2015 season will be perfect timing. He’ll get another ring or two

    So…when he takes the girls in the bathroom, he steals their rings, too? Didn’t know that. Interesting.

  20. Only way that happens is if they don’t pay Ben..its a bailout plan for 2 years down the line.

  21. all the steelers need to be healthy and remain healthy. any position with an injured player needs a non-injured player to be ready to step in and contribute on the field

  22. @CKL …

    What? Girl … unless something has changed, you’re a Pats fan. Your team didn’t win any rings until Tom Brady led them to the promised land. I understand what you and bobzilla are saying about Mr. Elite, and yes, that’s an ethereal term. Even so, slim are the chances of winning a championship without The Guy under center. You have the rings because you had The Guy. And no matter how badly Roethlisberger performed once he got to the Super Bowl, so do we.

    As for Ben … his longevity will depend on how well he adapts to Haley’s offense. If he gets on board, he’ll live to fight a little longer. If not, he’ll be done by 35. Either way, I doubt Landry Jones will be The Guy to replace him. I just hope it’s not another 21-year wait.

  23. Deb:
    Back when the Patriots actually won Super Bowls, they had a pretty good defenses. They also had an excellent placekicker who they relied on constantly.

    As for that 21-year wait you keep talking about, Roethlisberger’s timing was perfect. He got drafted by a team that was in the process of putting together the best defense since the Steelers’ defenses of the 1970s.
    During Roethlisberger’s tenure, the defense has been ranked No. 1 five times in nine seasons. No Steelers’ QB ever had that kind of defensive support, not even Bradshaw, who was named Super Bowl MVP twice, including after a 35-31 shootout with the Cowboys in Super Bowl 13.
    Roethlisberger’s scoring numbers have been average at best. The defense has been ranked among the best in the league. Yet you want to credit the quarterback for ending a 21-year wait.

  24. @bobzilla …

    The 21-year wait was for The Guy to replace Bradshaw, who left in 1983. Yeah, Roethlisberger did that in 2004. I’m not giving him sole credit for anything other than being The Guy.

    Is he The Best Guy in the league? No. Could he have done it without that defense or without Bettis? No. Could he have done it better and more than twice if he’d been more disciplined and a harder worker? Yes and probably. Is he better than Bradshaw? Well, in 36 years as a Steelers fan, I’ve owned one jersey from the offensive side of the ball: Number 12. So that’s a no.

    But do Stoudt, Malone, Woodley, Brister, O’Donnell, Tomczak, Miller, Stewart, or Maddox deserve even a passing mention as The Guy? Are you kidding?

    Love him or hate him, Roethlisberger played a tremendous role in getting us to SBXL, and with his final drive, in winning SBXLIII. It is what it is, dude.

  25. Deb says:
    May 7, 2013 3:49 PM
    @CKL …

    What? Girl … unless something has changed, you’re a Pats fan. Your team didn’t win any rings until Tom Brady led them to the promised land. I understand what you and bobzilla are saying about Mr. Elite, and yes, that’s an ethereal term. Even so, slim are the chances of winning a championship without The Guy under center. You have the rings because you had The Guy.
    I hear what you’re saying. But when TB got his first ring, he was a “link in the chain” player: smart, coachable and made good plays when the team needed him to. All three things his predecessor wasn’t. So yes he was a reason his team won and by the second and third SB, he was a bigger reason. But he was still on a team with an excellent defense. If by “the guy” you mean “a QB who can help the team win more often than not” or a guy who pulls his own weight, I agree that’s important. I just don’t believe that a team has to have a top 5-10 guy at the position to have a good chance of winning the SB.

  26. The Steelers reached Super Bowl 30 with A Guy named Neil O’Donnell. They lost to the dynastic Dallas Cowboys. And if you think Roethlisberger — based on his past Super Bowl performances — would’ve played any better than O’Donnell against that team and that defense, you are simply drinking too much of the SuperBen Kool-Aid.
    Roethlisberger played exceptionally well leading up to Super Bowl 40. Meanwhile, in 43, against the worst defensive team in Super Bowl history, for 59 minutes Roethlisberger was Tim Tebow.
    It is what it is, dudette

  27. I so wanted the Bucs to take Landry Jones. I believe this kid will have an awesome career. Not playing him at least by next year would be so wrong.

  28. @CKL …

    My brother was at the Orange Bowl when Brady stunned Alabama. He told me then Tom was a superstar in waiting. I can’t really argue with much of what bobzilla says about Roethlisberger. But Brady? To me, he’s in the same conversation as Montana, Unitas, and Slingin’ Sammy Baugh. The best of the best. Is that what it takes to win a Super Bowl? Well … Marino proved a great QB can’t win a championship without the supporting cast. But a lot of great teams have proved it’s not that easy for the supporting cast to win one without the field general, either.

  29. What I love to see real hate versus the objective view. Deb, you are a breath of fresh air. Bobzilla you are just bad breath. I await a scathing pompous reply. Your hate about Ben is legendary …your bias is exposed. Try something we. Just reemerge all I know about football is what you taught me.. Your kid is biting your feet

  30. bobzilla …

    Yes, they were the dynastic Cowboys and one of the greatest teams I’ve ever seen on a football field. But we could have won that game. We should have won that game. It wasn’t all O’Donnell. I know about injuries and substitutions and players running the wrong routes. But there’s a certain magic about The Guy. For all the INTs, Favre had it. God knows, Elway had it. Bradshaw certainly had it. And though it seems to have escaped him the last couple of seasons, for a while there, Ben had it. You know exactly what I’m talking about because it’s what carried the team through the playoffs to SBXL. And it’s what threaded the needle to win SBXLIII. That’s not Kool-Aid. It’s what happens when The Guy takes command of The Field and everyone on the field and in the stands–including the opponents–believes he can win.

    O’Donnell didn’t have it. He never had it. By leaving a team that could easily have gone back the following season, he proved he could never be The Guy for any team. Do I think Ben could have won that game? The Ben that made the serendipitous game-saving tackle against the Colts? The Ben that engineered the final drive against the Cards? Even against that Cowboys defense?

    Maybe. That’s the difference between Roethlisberger and O’Donnell–the potential for magic. I question whether he still has it, but he did. That’s what made him The Guy–and that’s why so many people are still enamored with him despite his stats–and your annoyance 🙂

  31. Deb:
    You bet the Steelers could’ve won Super Bowl 30, just as they could’ve lost 40 and 43.
    Matt Cassell and the Patriots had scored 47 points against that same Cardinals defense just a few weeks before Super Bowl 43. Roethlisberger managed 13 points through 59 minutes.
    It wasn’t magic. It was defense.
    It was a Roethlisberger pick that set up Harrison’s 100-yard interception return. Had the Cardinals scored right before halftime, the Steelers lose that game. Pretty simple. Harrison saved Roethlisberger The Guy from being Roethlisberger The Goat.
    And we won’t even talk about Super Bowl 45: A pick-six (7) in a six-point loss.
    The Steelers could very easily be 0-3 in Super Bowls quarterbacked by Roethlisberger. They are fortunate not to be. The fact that they played against weak NFC competition certainly helped The Guy.

  32. @bobzilla …

    Everything you say is true–as I’ve acknowledged on numerous occasions. And you’ve acknowledged that Ben’s playoff run to SBXL was brilliant. It’s aggravating to you that so many give Ben blanket credit for the team’s success–for instance, remembering his game-winning drive in XLIII but not that INT (for what it’s worth, I thought Harrison was the MVP that day, not Roethlisberger or Holmes) or his disastrous performance in XLV. It’s aggravating to me that someone I believe has/had tremendous natural talent plus the indefinable Quarterback Magic has never lived up to his potential because his ego got in the way. I don’t know that we disagree on what Ben is as much as we disagree on what he almost was–or maybe could still grow up to be.

  33. Deb says:
    May 7, 2013 8:06 PM
    @CKL …

    My brother was at the Orange Bowl when Brady stunned Alabama. He told me then Tom was a superstar in waiting. I can’t really argue with much of what bobzilla says about Roethlisberger. But Brady? To me, he’s in the same conversation as Montana, Unitas, and Slingin’ Sammy Baugh. The best of the best. Is that what it takes to win a Super Bowl? Well … Marino proved a great QB can’t win a championship without the supporting cast. But a lot of great teams have proved it’s not that easy for the supporting cast to win one without the field general, either.
    You’ve mentioned that about your brother seeing the greatness in TB. I really wish I had been on PFT then to hear that when all of us who don’t really watch college football were wondering if our team could win with that Brady kid.

    I agree there is a certain “something” some QBs have that others don’t. And you don’t have to be an elite QB to have that something. I use Carson Palmer as an example. I always thought he was a prototype Qb, size, arm accuracy…but he’s always been missing something to me, something mental. Killer instinct? Not sure, but I believe that’s one big reason he never became great despite his wealth of talent. I think if you took a guy like Tebow’s mental will and paired it with Palmer’s skill, that would make a heck of a QB.

    I also think mentality of a QB can affect performance. I have no way of proving it, but I think now that the Pats are more offense centric, it puts too much mental pressure on TB to be perfect and he feels he can’t just relax and play. In 2 of the three SBs the Pats won, TB was so calm he took a nap before the game. No way he did that the last 2 SBs.

    I also think it was some of the reason the BR’s performance suffered the years the Pitt defense wasn’t as good. QBs are usually guys who are control freaks and want to make up for any deficiencies their team has and then they press too hard. It hurts the team, but they can’t help it, it’s their nature. That’s another reason I don’t like it to be so much about one player.

  34. CKL:
    The Steelers’ defense ranked No. 1 in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012. Just when has Roethlisberger’s performance suffered BECAUSE of the Steelers’ defense?
    Meanwhile, the Steelers’ offense, starting with the 2007 season, has ranked near the bottom of the league annually. If Roethlisberger wants to be a control freak, he ought to start by correcting his own glaring deficiencies.
    Roethlisberger will never have my respect until he gets his offense into the Top 10 in scoring. Offenses are about scoring. Defenses are about scoring prevention.
    I’d say Roethlisberger has some catching up to do.

  35. Bobzilla,

    I was speaking of 06 and that I think BR also said he pressed too much last year if I recall right but I know a lot of people excuse his performance totally because he faceplanted into a Buick before that 06 season. But really I’m with you. I agree a bazillion % that no QB who hasn’t ever QBed a top 10 offense in points scored should ever be called elite. My favorite person ever to wear an NFL uniform, Jake Delhomme, was not an elite QB yet out of his 7 years as Carolina’s QB (one of which he missed all but 3 games and two others where he missed several games) he QBed an offense in the top 10 in points twice. And he never had one single defense as good as any of those Steelers defenses you mentioned. I was trying to be fair minded.

    My team had an uncoachable stubborn QB right before TB (Bledsoe), so I see some parallels. He just didn’t have elite defenses. BR was better in clutch situations most of the time than DB but there are similarities. DB was seriously frustrating to watch because he seemed like he SHOULD be “elite” but he never was. Always the bad throw at the wrong time. It was fun to watch him do that for Buffalo and Dallas instead of for my team.

  36. @CKL …

    I love the game, both college and pro, but my brother’s a walking encyclopedia who can discuss high school recruits from around the country in depth. Given the insanity of his work/family schedule, I’ll never know how he manages to keep up to that degree. Yes, I’m with you on both Palmer and Tebow. Palmer lacks what I call “heart,” while Tebow has every intangible you could want in a leader without the needed passing skill.

    Roethlisberger should get a pass for the 06 season. If you read the emergency responders’ reports on that crash, he shouldn’t have started the season–especially after piling on the appendectomy. Frankly, I think that year was more the result of Cowher’s mental retirement than anything else.

    Your comments about Brady being too rigid are interesting because I’ve always wished Roethlisberger had just half Tom’s work ethic instead of always wanting to fly by the seat of his pants. And maybe that’s the answer: to have half Tom’s work ethic. Heaven knows Ben needs more discipline. Maybe Tom needs a little less.

  37. @ Deb

    I don’t think any QB has it easy when they feel they have to play lights out every game for their team to win. Back in the day, TB could play within himself and know his team would do their part. And if he wasn’t having a good game, his team could make up for it more often. With all the turnover on defense in the past 5-6 years and at WR and lack of dependable run game for a long while (improved last year, hope it continues), that isn’t a given anymore. It’s one reason I think he was extra thrilled when he played terribly, by his own loud public admission, in the 2011 AFCC and the Pats won anyhow. The past couple years I’ve seen mental errors by him that he didn’t make often even early in his career (timeout issues, the safety in SB 46, that bad throw to Gronk in SB 46, etc) I’m not trying to make a martyr of him or anything, but he is only human. By his own admission, he’s become more ornery than he used to be. Maybe his football mortality has come home to roost since he missed that 08 season and he feels the heat to get at least one more ring, who knows?

    BR has said on numerous occasions that he plays how he plays and he isn’t going to change. I get that to an extent. But as you pointed out, there’s nothing wrong with becoming a more cerebral, disciplined hard working player. It lengthens the career and makes a guy able to play better when his physical abilities decline. It still seems to me BR relies too much on the physical side of his game.

  38. CKL …

    Your last paragraph nailed it! Ben is gifted–perhaps even more naturally gifted than some more successful QBs. But in many ways his early success ruined him because it convinced him too much preparation or game-planning would take away from the spontenaity of his game. As he grows older, slower, and defenses get better at adapting to his juking, letting “Ben be Ben,” as they say, is going to cost us games (it has already) and shorten his career.

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