Steelers Third-String QB Position: Landry Jones Versus John Parker Wilson
Aug 15th, 2013 by Lori Paddock
I have been thinking about this topic on and off since the draft, where I was surprised to see the Steelers pick up a QB in the fourth round. When camp started, I was hoping we would hear a little more about the capabilities (in an NFL-style setting) of Landry Jones and John Parker Wilson. Unlike some faithful fans, Iíve never been convinced that L. Jones was going to be an automatic fit to the NFL. Iím not denying he has talent and did well in college, so donít read into this that I am going to slam Landry Jones.
Now that the Steelers are past their first preseason game and all four quarterbacks played, you can perhaps make some assessments about the quarterbacks. Iíve read several blogs who suggest some and they all make great points. Mike Dyce, at FanSided NFL; Ivan Cole, at Behind the Steel Curtain; Mark Marczi at Steelers Depot have some good takes.
Why should this even be discussed? Landry Jones was drafted and he has to be put on the active roster, right? Well, thatís one school of thought. I can see that perspective, but it doesnít leave me comfortable. Being drafted doesnít make L. Jones competent. Also, there really doesnít seem to be enough information to evaluate one way or the other. Additionally, the Steelersí track record of developing young QB talent when it is sitting at third string is suspect. The most recent example of Dennis Dixon comes to mind.
Itís the third string position, who cares? If Roethlisbergerís history has taught us anything, the back up positions matter. Bruce Gradkowski is second string and that doesnít seem to be up for debate. He looked poised and controlled with his first time out with the Steelers. So what about L. Jones and John Parker Wilson? Iím not sure they have been seen in the best light since neither really get first-team reps or played with the first-team during Saturdayís game. However, from what I see, Iím not sure it will be an easy decision about who to keep at the 3rd QB position.
During the game, I didnít get a feeling of confidence from L. Jones. I donít know if it was the adreneline or the speed of play, but I thought L. Jones looked hesitant and somewhat confused. Maybe I was looking for that though because L. Jones got some unfavorable press before the game (see PPG article). Gerry Dulac stated that L. Jones had struggled during the first two weeks of camp and Tomlin was quoted:
[Jones has] done some good things, but, obviously, what he does in stadiums is really going to be the litmus of where he isĒ
Well, after the fumble from the collision with Baron Batch and the Giantsí safety, Landry Jones was trending on Twitter and NOT in a good way. Iím not sure he is going to get favorable press for a while; however, I donít think it will live on as long as the butt fumble has.
On the other side, I thought Wilson looked stronger in the pocket Iím not saying that John Parker Wilson should be the choice either; however, he was getting a lot of positive ďpressĒ during camp before the Giants game. Again, maybe I was looking for that because of what I read. I saw at least two tweets from Mark Kaboly, of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, that Wilson looked good at QB and had a strong arm. James Wexell, who is a columnist for the Steel City Insider and writes for the Uniontown Herald, tweeted that Wilson looked terrible during spring OTAs but great during camp. None of that makes Wilson an obvious pick for the third position, but you have to think that the Steelers are factoring that into their decision.
So, what about the game stats? Landry Jones was in for four series and the only score was the safety for the Giants. He completed 5 out of 9 passes for 48 yards and he wasnít sacked at all. I noticed that most of his passes were short passes, as if Haley was keeping a tight rein on him. John Parker Wilson was in for three series and was sacked FOUR times. FOUR! He completed 4 out of 5 passes for 35 yards and no score. While Iím sure you canít divorce Wilson from all responsibility for the sacks he took, I saw defensive lineman just breaking through the line without much trouble, so Iím not sure Wilson got a fair look either. He also stuck to short passes and I wasnít surprised by that.
Whatís my conclusion? Good question. Iím not sure. First, I beg the Landry Jones fans to not take this personally. Iím not against him. I just donít think he should be the automatic third string because he was drafted. But, why draft him if you arenít going to keep him? Well, not everyone works out for the team that drafts him. So, my bottom line is, donít decide on the third string just yet. Iíd like to see more from both. I also donít think that the Steelers should be wed to either one. The QB pool is a little deeper (for third-string positions) than tight ends I would think. Perhaps there should be some ďout-of-the-boxĒ thinking here. Second bottom line: Donít think the third string quarterback position doesnít matter. Did you hear the collective gasp out of New England when Tom Brady was writhing in pain on the ground like a English Premier League soccer player? All of a sudden there was a spotlight shining on Ryan Mallett and Tim Tebow. Patriots fans saw their dreams of a championship season threatened because Brady might be injured and confidence is low in Mallett and Tebow. This is a quarterback-driven league. All three QB positions matter; they matter a great deal.
Landry Jones will be the Steelersí No.3 QB
AUGUST 17, 2013 BY MICHAEL RICHTER
The Steelers shocked many when they selected QB Landry Jones in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. I myself, was not particularly thrilled with the pick, but I was intrigued. That selection is starting to look the worst out of the entire Steelersí 2013 draft class. But you canít evaluate draft classes so very early. Landry Jones wasnít very impressive in his first preseason game, and many media members have said Jones did not have a good training camp.
The Steelers may be left with a No.3 quarterback dilemma. John Parker Wilson has looked sharp in camp and on the playing field. I think itís safe to say Bruce Gradkowski will be the teamís backup quarterback. But the Steelers could be facing a tough decision between JPW and Jones.
First off you have to ask: Are the Steelers willing to throw away their fourth draft choice? Honestly, I find that very hard to believe. Secondly, you have to ask: How exactly do the Steelers view Landry Jones? Quite frankly, Iím not sure how to answer that question. I donít know if the Steelers see Jones as a possible starter years down the road or not. Likely, the Steelers see Landry Jones as a valuable backup that can learn under Roethlisberger.
I also have a hard time believing the Steelers are going to cut Jones because of him not having a great training camp. They didnít bring Landry Jones in to be a starter; they didnít even bring Jones in to be the backup. John Parker Wilson is playing very well, but ultimately, heís playing for a job somewhere else. The Steelers have simply invested way too much into Landry Jones to give up on him in his rookie season.
And donít think for a second the Steelers would be willing to keep 4 QBs on their 53 man roster. Itís nice to see John Parker Wilson perform the way he has, but in the end, he is just a ďcamp arm.Ē
Landry Jones will be the No.3 QB for the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers.
Totally agree with everything said. Jones was brought in as part of a longer term plan (yes the front office actually does that) and he was never envisioned to play a single down in 2013 or maybe even 2014.
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
IMO the plan with Jones has always been for him to watch and learn in 2013. If disaster strikes in 2013 and both Ben and Gradkowski go down the Steelers will find a journeyman QB out there to bring in. They won't rush Jones like many of the fans want to.
In that pic, he looks like George Harrison. Hoping he throws better than George (Harrison, not Jeff).
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
Another Jones impresses, too
Fourth-round pick Landry Jones, who has struggled in training camp, entered in the second half and led the Steelers to their first touchdown drive. Jones completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Derek Moye to complete an eight-play, 76-yard drive. It was the first touchdown the offense produced in the preseason.
"He did a good job, got his first touchdown and completed a lot of good passes," Roethlisberger said.
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
I was starting to worry about this kid. I've heard so many negative things about him in camp, was nice to see him drive the football down the field and score.
I wouldn't worry about Jones.. He was trashed at OU because the team couldnt go undefeated and win the College Superbowl most of that wasn't his fault.. 39 wins 3-1 bowl record and 4 4000 yard seasons and 123 TD's was not good enough.. The Steelers have this same attitude of Super Bowl or Bust.. Its like he has to be perfect or he sucks.. Jones is doing better than he is being given credit for.. He will get better but I think he has done good with the amount of pressure and receivers who are not getting separation. Jones is good at avoiding sacks he only had one in every 42 attempts in college and has had Jones has had only one Sack in 31 passes with the steelers.. Alot of his in-completions are sack avoiding throw aways.. He will get better at the timing and finding open guys. Why is every Rookie QB in the Nfl is expected to take time to adjust but Landry.. He hasn't thrown an interception, or had a turn over and only one sack, and the only TD Pass.
Originally Posted by TD386Steel
One word "kid!" He is trying to prove himself playing the hardest position in the NFL while transitioning from a primarily shotgun QB to taking the ball under Center. Just growing pain. Bottomline is that Jones will make this team and he will be on this team for a long time.
Originally Posted by TD386Steel
Good post O. I really think Jones will be a good NFL QB. It will take several years but I think he is worth the investment.
All I can say is that the kid has time to turn things around & get better & I think he's got two good tutors in Ben & Gradkowski. That said, I still don't like the fact we wasted a 4th on him when we needed more depth to develop elsewhere & most felt he would've still been at least a round later. Landry (& the Steelers) will be judged not only by what he contributes to the team but also by what late-round picks they passed on bloom into quality players...defensive players like Jesse Williams (DL), Philip Thomas & Sanders Cummings (DBs) that really could've shored up some "weak" areas of the squad - or offensive linemen Earl Watford & Jordan Mills to build depth for a team that desperately needs it or possibly develop into starters. The reality is that a QB wasn't a need, it was luxury & one that we couldn't afford considering the other needs of the team.