Can any of these guys Worilds, Robinson, Carter, Woodley move inside?
Now a year later, he wants to "take it personally"? Sorry buddy... it is too late now. You can still be backup material, but you had your shot at the big-time--and you blew it.
Always some tumult over rookies not playing because they need to learn the system first. I wouldn't want the Steelers to operate a system so vanilla and simplistic that a 9th grader could pick it up in OTAs. When you are a professional team, you should have a complex system. That said, I'll have to see for myself what Jarvis Jones brings but I wouldn't be surprised if I think that Worilds has as much ability. Bell should be able to be at the top of chart.
Snapshot: Jarvis Jones
By Jim Wexell
Posted Jun 4, 2013
Jarvis Jones is being taught about life in the fishbowl by Steelers' vets, and the first-round draft pick has been a receptive listener.
Larry Foote was sitting on the bench before the start of one of the practices last week, a few feet away from a quiet LaMarr Woodley. But Foote was talking to a rookie, first-round pick Jarvis Jones, who was standing five feet away from both of them.
And Foote was dispensing wisdom – off-the-field wisdom – intermittently, as if he were testing Jones, daring him to leave and miss what was coming next.
Jones, who had said a few weeks earlier that he prefers the company of wise, old men, stuck around as Foote spoke about money, love, friends, and free time, until the horn sounded and the three linebackers hit the field.
If Foote’s warnings didn’t hit home with Jones, perhaps the stabbing over the weekend of Mike Adams did.
Foote took in both elements of that statement and was asked to spit out a comment yesterday.
“It’s hard being 33 and telling guys to keep their butts at home. When I was his age I was out, too,” Foote said. “I normally tell rookies not to be out with too many people. In Mike’s case, you wanted to be with more people. But, you know, when you’re in town, out with teammates, they have your best interest at heart. Back home, with your buddies from the ’hood, keep them at a distance.”
Jones knows most of this. He encountered some harsh realities while growing up in southwestern Georgia, near the Alabama border.
“The tragedy that happened, man, is never going to change,” said Jones. “I’m still devastated through it.”
Jones was 15 when his older brother – his “best friend” who had turned 19 that day – was murdered during an argument outside a bar.
“My family took a lot of fall from it, being that’s my oldest brother, my mom’s oldest child,” Jones said. “It happened on some humbug, something that should never have happened. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was one of those bad situations.
“I’ve grown over it. I turned it into a positive as best as I could. Even to this day I still talk to my brother. I just ask him to watch over me. I know he is. If he was here he’d be extremely proud of me.”
Within a half year of the murder, a troubled Jones was kicked out of two schools and was forced to find education outside of Stewart County. He had become friends with a counselor on the basketball team and moved into her home about 35 miles north in Columbus, Ga.
Shelley Stephens became Jones’ legal guardian and she steered him through Carver High and to USC, from where Jones had to leave after one year because the school wouldn’t clear him physically.
Jones’ well-chronicled problem with spinal stenosis had given USC officials pause, so he transferred to Georgia and ended up with the Steelers, where he looks, speaks and acts like the last person to have been kicked out of an entire county some eight years ago.
“I think everything that happened to me, and growing up seeing what I’ve seen, has matured me,” Jones said. “My brother getting killed, me getting kicked out of school, me going to USC, them telling me I would never play football again. I was 2,000 miles away from home with nobody there to support me. The coaching staff that recruited me was gone, so I was basically out there at USC by myself, so I had to mature a whole lot.
“And I don’t know, man, I’ve always been before my time, even my family looked up to me like I’m one of the oldest in the family even though I’m one of the youngest. I was just always mature. I always made some of the best decisions and tried to surround myself with positive people, so when I had to go through a situation, I could go talk to them and get a positive answer from them. I’ve just always been like that.”
And one of those positive people right now is Foote, who made his way through a rough Detroit upbringing to become one of the real leaders of these Pittsburgh Steelers.
Foote not only gave Jones the bad-neighborhood pep talk at just the right time, he was prescient enough to give Jones some financial advice a few days before the rookie was given a check for $4.7 million.
“I told him to save it, handle it like it’s your last contract, handle it like – God forbid – you get a career-threatening injury and this is it,” said Foote. “This is how you’ve gotta live. Don’t be looking down the road like, ‘I can spend this; I’m going to make this.’ And keep your friends at a distance. Don’t give nobody no money. Bottom line.”
Jones, though, might have the better bottom line:
“I grew up around my grandma all the time when I was young. I listened to a lot of blues – Johnny Taylor, some of that old stuff. I watched a lot of gospel stuff, and just paid attention. I’m one of those guys who if I see three or four old men sitting over there I’m going to sit with them. Knowledge is power, man. I’m always willing to learn and hear different things. That’s what God gave me as well. I’m very thankful. Things have been going great for me in my life. I’m surrounded by so many great people who just keep blessing me.”
Minicamp underway for Steelers
Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell knows he has his work cut out for him to see quality playing time this season, but he is willing to do whatever it takes.
“I want to come in here and try and compete and win games,” said Bell. “We have a lot of talent in the backfield. All I can do is go out there and compete.
“I am ready for whatever. I just want to go out there and do the best that I can. I don’t want to set any expectations for anyone. I just want to do the best that I can.”
One of the keys for Bell is to get a good understanding of the offense between now and the start of training camp so he will be able to go full speed then. He will have plenty of time between the end of minicamp on Thursday and the first training camp practice on July 27 to do just that.
“It’s just the ability to grasp the entire offense, the entire package, from a protection standpoint, ball security, running the right route on pass plays,” said running backs coach Kirby Wilson. “We are looking for all phases from him in order to be able to compete at the highest level. The fundamentals have to be there.
“He wants to learn the offense so he has a chance to compete for a job, so they know what to do and how to do it.”
Wilson said one of the toughest things for rookies to learn is pass protection, and it’s something he will have work on if he wants to get on the field.
“That’s any running back,” said Wilson. “You have to be able to protect the quarterback or you won’t play. That’s not just in Pittsburgh. That’s in every NFL city.
“There is so much more technique involved. You are going against skilled pass rushers, as opposed to guys in college that are just rushing. For these guys, it’s an art. There are counter moves, and these guys are very explosive that rush the passer in the NFL.”