Jarvis Jones has a shot to break tradition and start as a rookie for the Steelers. (Credit: Zimbio)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the NFL’s consistently dominant defenses the last decade. Their identity as a football team goes all the way back to the 1970′s Steel Curtain defenses. Throughout all these years of great defensive play, there has been one constant: rookies don’t start. However, first round draft pick out of Georgia, linebacker Jarvis Jones, has a high chance of breaking that tradition in 2013.
Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau operates one of the more complex, if not the most complex, 3-4 schemes in the league. Usually, the Steelers bring draft picks along slowly, and most don’t get a chance to start until after getting at least a year of experience under their belt. But there’s a changing of the guard taking place in Pittsburgh, with younger guys stepping in at all sorts of positions. Right now, Jones has a legitimate chance to beat out fourth year guy Jason Worilds for the starting outside linebacker position.
Personally, I think Jarvis Jones already has what it takes to be an effective pass rusher. If he can even become average in the pass coverage aspect of the zone blitz scheme, there’s no reason for him not to start, or at the very least see a lot of playing time. The Steelers desperately need all of their high draft picks of the last four years to come into their own this season. If he shows promise in training camp, Jarvis Jones should be added to that list of guys with high expectations.