Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Top Pick Jones Anxious to Put on Pads

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Top Pick Jones Anxious to Put on Pads

Article excerpt

Today is a big day for many of the Steelers rookies because it is the first time the coaches and players will get a look at them in pads.

And it should be a big moment for Jarvis Jones, their No. 1 draft choice.

All the Steelers -- coaches and players alike -- are eager to see the outside linebacker from Georgia in pads, something they haven't been able to do since they made him the 17th overall pick in the NFL draft.

"It's like the first day of school," coach Mike Tomlin said. "Checking in here and getting on the grass is one thing, don't get me wrong. But football is a game played in pads and [today] is the first day of school."

And Jones is eager to show his teammates what he is capable of.

"Those are the guys I'm going to be on the field with," Jones said. "First and foremost, I got to build their trust and be with those guys through thick and thin. The coaches call the plays and put you in position to make plays, but your teammates are the ones going to go to war with you. I have to build trust in my teammates and have them know I got their back and they got my back."

Jones reported to camp weighing 248 pounds but said he expects to put on weight in training camp. Still, he might have to add a little bulk to handle left tackles in the NFL.

Jones has already impressed teammates with his speed and athleticism. Now they want to see that power and explosiveness he showed at Georgia when he puts on pads today in the afternoon practice at Saint Vincent College.

"I'm going to have a learning curve, I'm going to make some errors, I'm going to have to take those process steps," Jones said. "I'm doing a good job of taking the process slowly and learning. [Linebackers coach Keith Butler] is doing a good job of implementing the playbook and putting me in the playbook. And my teammates, all the guys help me when I'm on the field. It's been going well since I've been here."

With Jones and Jason Worilds slated to replace James Harrison at right outside linebacker, Chris Carter will move to left outside linebacker behind LaMarr Woodley. Carter, a fifth-round pick in 2011, started the first three games of the regular season in 2012 when Harrison and Worilds were injured. …

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