Rookie Landry Jones is going to get the bulk of the snaps at quarterback on Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers, the first chance the coaches will have to see how he performs with significant playing time.
"(It's) just letting him play football and seeing how he rides the wave associated with good plays and bad plays and series, things that you don't get a chance to see often from young guys," said Tomlin. "We'll get a real extended view of him and see how he responds to how the flow of the game goes. It's a great opportunity for him. We're excited about it and I'm sure he is as well."
Jones has seen action in two preseason games, not playing against Kansas City last week, and completed 14 of 31 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown.
"I just have to play up to my capabilities this week," said Jones. "I am excited about the opportunity to get out there and play more. I am looking forward to playing a lot. I have been getting a series here, a series there or a quarter or so. It's just different coming in at the middle of the third quarter. So I am just looking forward to playing a lot."
The team released quarterback John Parker Wilson on Sunday when they got down to the mandatory 75 players, but even with just three quarterbacks on the roster Jones still feels he has something to prove.
"I just want to go out there, have fun and play the way I am capable of playing," said Jones. "There is still another cut coming so I want to go out there and play my best. I have to make all of the right reads and checks. That is what I need to do right now."
Jones continues to become more comfortable with the offense each day, and the progress from when he first arrived for rookie minicamp, to the start of training camp, to now is immense.
"It's just night and day," said Jones. "Just being here and being around the guys and learning the offense, I think it's just a total difference in how I feel. I feel a lot more comfortable now than I did at the beginning of training camp, just from a reps aspect. I'm getting a lot more reps and I'm able to practice more."