QB Landry Jones has had a rough transition into the NFL. The 2013 fourth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma is taking a long time to make the adjustment, and that delay has been a source of frustration for Steelers fans who frequently grumble about the college standout's failure to materialize into the player many thought he could have been.
Is it too early to call Landry Jones a flop? Recently, members of the Steelers coaching staff spoke out to explain Jones' progress-- or lack there of. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley said, via TribLive.com, "Landry has been a little up and down, but he's working hard." Unfortunately, hard work is not all it takes to succeed in the NFL.
QB coach Randy Fichtner said, again via TribLive.com, "If I can get Landry Jones to be better than Ben Roethlisberger, then we all win." That "if" is so big, his statement seems delusional. If he can make Jones better than Roethlisberger, not only do we all win, as Fichtner predicted, but the Steelers have a real, no-joke wizard on their coaching staff. I'm talking Gandalf-level wizardry.
Jones sees signs of improvement, saying, "The game is starting to slow down a little bit for me. It used to feel as if bodies were flying around me that rookie year. So I've definitely gotten used to the speed of the game. I'm more comfortable with the offense. I'm recognizing things more, and I'm more confident where I'm going with the football. There were some timing throws I wasn't as comfortable with as I am now."
Entering his third season, Jones has taken a while to become "more comfortable," and it seems that "more comfortable" isn't comfortable enough for the Steelers who recently brought in Tajh Boyd along with WR/QB hybrids Devin Gardner and Tyler Murphy.
If Fichtner's magic can't transform Jones into the QB the Steelers need him to be, the Steelers will have to move on to other options. Fichtner admitted, "It's probably make-or-break time for him. Eventually, if there isn't a potential move forward, the younger guys will have to get some work."