Whether the Pittsburgh Steelers want to or not, they’re now in the hands of Landry Jones until Ben Roethlisberger comes back from his injury, while Michael Vick is both injured and also possible demoted in the quarterback depth chart.
Jones stepped up to the plate in the game against the Arizona Cardinals and delivered a fantastic performance in his first ever game for the Steelers. A fourth round pick in 2013, the Steelers didn’t really select Jones as the heir to Roethlisberger. He was brought in to be a third-string QB, and maybe, who knows, something good will develop out of him. As we see less and less rookie quarterbacks sitting for a year or two before they get their opportunities, maybe Jones’ debut shows that it’s still the best way to develop your next man behind center.
However, we shouldn’t get carried away. Matt Flynn’s career is an excellent example of why one great backup performance shouldn’t result in contracts and a starting role. Jones steered the Steelers to victory with 8-for-12 with 168 yards and two touchdown throws, but the former Oklahoma man needs to play a few more games to prove that he’s the real deal. He might have a chance to get his first start, because it’s not quite clear if Roethlisberger is over his MCL sprain.
The Steelers are 2-1 without Roethlisberger, distancing themselves away from the Cleveland Browns and the horrendous Baltimore Ravens. Right now it seems more likely that he’ll be back for week 8, and leave the game against the Chiefs, maybe the worst team in the league at the moment although still with a very difficult to deal with defense, to Jones, with the Steelers hoping that he’ll prove once again that he’s ready to be the main backup to Roethlisberger, while pushing Vick away from any more meaningful playing time.
This isn’t the ideal situation for the Steelers but considering how badly some teams do without their starting quarterbacks, being left with Jones to lead this team on offense isn’t the worst possible outcome.