Jarvis Jones' play this weekend continued to make his case to be a starter on the Steelers' defense. That has gone noticed by the Pittsburgh staff and earned him a co-starting role that will interchange with fourth year player Jason Worilds. Although it does not put him on the field as much as his counterpart, LaMarr Woodley, it does mean he's progressing very well early in his rookie season.
Although the Steelers depth chart may list Worilds as the starter, the Steelers are definitely using the two in a rotation in order to give the team the best chance of winning while developing the rookie first round draft pick.
Against the Titans, Worilds was on the field for more defensive plays from scrimmage between the two, but fans all noticed Jones' contributions to the team before anything that Worilds was able to provide. Worilds was involved in 46 plays against the Titans, while Jones was involved for 30.
Woodley's snap count was at 60 on Sunday, confirming his pre-game assertion that he will not be a part time linebacker. Woodley also produced the team's only sack on Jake Locker, and contributed fairly to the pressure provided that forced many early throws.
Jones was used in different exotic blitz packages that featured stunts and blitzes towards the interior gaps on passing downs. As progress continues to be made for the rookie, all appearances suggest the Steelers are giving him every opportunity to lockup a starting position. Meanwhile, Worilds continues to be fresh legs for the defense to aid the efforts to prevent running backs from rushing outside the tackles.
The next step in this position battle will be to keep an eye out for any news on practice reps this week between Worilds and Jones. Then the snap count on next Monday, when the team plays in Cincinnati, should be more telling of whether Pittsburgh intends on maintaining a rotation that favors Worilds or if Jones will continue to see an increase in playing time.
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