clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steelers working to break Jarvis Jones of inside habit

Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler likes the potential of first round pick Jarvis Jones, there are just a few things they need to get him to do before he can be at his best. Ignoring what he's done before the NFL is one of those things.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The art of the pass rush isn't inclusive of simply avoiding players on the opposing teams.

Rushers have to make sure to steer clear of their own guys as well. Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler is aware rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has a great inside move.

He also has a few bad habit of which he needs to be broken before he can reach his ceiling.

In a feature piece in Tuesday's Post Gazette, Butler tells Ed Bouchette of a general vision for Jones, and how he's still learning one of the fundamental differences between the college game and pass rushing for the Steelers.

"He has a great inside move," said Keith Butler, who is in his 11th season coaching the Steelers linebackers. "He is as quick as anybody and, when he gets that inside move on you, it's very hard to stop him from getting to the quarterback," Butler told Bouchette. "He's very good at that. But ... we have a lot of things going on inside him with stunts and games and things like that, that if he does go inside he's going to run into somebody. And so we don't want to put him in a position where he's running into someone else's rush lane. We want to keep him outside. "It's not just all him doing what he wants to all the time. He's got to do what the defense requires more than anything else."

Butler noted Jones's need to develop more of a power move to compliment that quickness. Butler refers to a move he refers to as "Walking the Dog," where a pass rusher will push a tackle back into the quarterback - a move mastered and used often by veteran defensive end Brett Keisel.

Jones is more than a decade younger than Keisel. That's more than 10 years of sophisticated weight training and diligent work on technique. These kinds of things may hinder Jones in terms of becoming the first Steeler to start at outside linebacker his rookie season, but it puts him in line with the career arc of LaMarr Woodley - another highly drafted pass-rushing OLB who didn't start his rookie season.

More may have been expected of Jones, but the fact is, regardless of the system he played in college, he didn't play for Butler, Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau or with the current scheme.

It's a system in which a player can be rewarded as well as burned for freelancing.

"James Harrison did it in the Super Bowl and gets a touchdown," Butler said. "Then, two years later, he does the same and gets a touchdown scored on him by Tom Brady. Those are great when they work. Just make sure you're doing it at the right time."

More from Behind the Steel Curtain: