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Jones ready to learn the defense

Posted May 3, 2013

There is no doubt linebacker Jarvis Jones wants to be a starter. After all, what NFL player doesn’t? But when asked about it after his first Steelers’ practice, the team’s No. 1 draft pick was quick to let everyone know, give it time.

“I’m just going to go out here, give it everything I’ve got and try to do my best to get coached up and learn this system,” said Jones. “That’s what I control right now and that’s what I’m here for, just to get coached up, learn what they want me to do and, most of all, learn the system.

“That’s a long way from now. The most important thing is for me to come out here, try to get in the best shape I can, learn this system and do what my coaches ask me to do. They’re going to make that decision. It’s not up to me so I’m just going to come out here and give it everything I’ve got. At the end of the day, they’re going to make the final decision.”

The expectations are high for Jones, considered by many to be the best pass rusher in this year’s draft class. The release of linebacker James Harrison earlier this offseason has left an opening at outside linebacker, and Jones should be in the mix to start. But as the coaches told him, there is a lot to be done before getting to that point.
 
“It’s a lot of hard work,” said Jones. “I’m fresh out of college. That’s my dream, but any way I can help my team, that’s what I’m going to do. It doesn’t matter if I’m a starter or not, I’m going to come out here every day and just give it my all.

“We still have a lot of time for that. We are still early in the offseason and I have a lot of stuff to catch up on to even be worried about starting right now. If it happens, it will be another blessing for me. Right now, I’m just trying to control what I can and that’s learning the system, getting in the best shape I can and just doing what my coaches ask me to do.”

Jones, along with the rest of the rookie class, went through his first practices on Friday and was pleased with how things started off.

“I think we did alright for the first day,” said Jones. “We still have a lot to improve on, learning this system, playing fast and being comfortable. I think the guys did a great job today. We had fun out there, we made some plays, and we adjusted well on a lot of stuff.”

From the looks of things Jones is going to be a fast learner, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. There is a lot to Dick LeBeau’s defense and picking it all up in one weekend isn’t going to happen.

“There’s a lot of stuff,” said Jones. “I think the coaches did a great job of implementing what we were doing out there today. I think we adjusted well to it. We learned it pretty fast. For myself, I played in a 3-4 system in college. It’s a lot of the same stuff but with different terminology. They do it a little different than we did in college. The concept, I kind of get it.

“I think our coaches are great teachers in the classroom as well as coaching us on the field and putting us in the right position to make plays. I think I adjusted to it well today. I had a couple mistakes, but I’ve got time to get coached up by my coaches and learn where I need to be.”

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