Lack of sacks shroud progress


The Steelers prepare for the week 9 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

JONESING FOR SACKS:** Outside linebacker Ryan Shazier had seven tackles, including one for a loss, a quarterback hit, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery against New England.

And it wasn't good enough.

It wasn't good enough because the Steelers lost, and it wasn't good enough because quarterback Tom Brady wasn't sacked in the Patriots' 27-16 victory.

But Jones' arrow is till pointing up in outside linebacker Joey Porter's estimation.

"Minus us not having sacks from really our team, period, I feel like he's definitely playing the run well," Porter said. "He's doing some real good things. He had some good reads where he shot the gap, tackled the guy in the backfield, started the game off with a tackle and a (forced) fumble.

"He's playing better than he has in the past, I see his game growing. But like I tell those guys all the time, we're in Pittsburgh, we play outside linebacker, we're going to get judged by production in the sack game. They don't care about you having nine, 10 tackles, that's all good. But we know what we're going to get judged for and until we do that you guys (in the media) won't see the good things he's doing.

"But he is playing much better than he has."

Jones emerged from the first seven games fourth among Steelers with 27 tackles. His three quarterback pressures are tied for second on the team (with linebacker Vince Williams, defensive end Stephon Tuitt, defensive end Cam Heyward, outside linebacker William Gay and outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo), behind outside linebacker Arthur Moats (five).

But Jones is still looking for his first sack.

The Steelers have eight sacks as a team through seven games.

"That's kinda how it goes as an outside linebacker," Jones said. "People don't really notice you playing the run or doing the other things. When you get sacks, it's going to draw a lot of attention.

"For me, I'm kinda in the tank right now, I don't have any sacks. I'm definitely working hard, extremely hard, to get better and have a better second half of the season."

GREEN ON HIS DETAILS: Offensive coordinator Todd Haley likes what he's seen from tight end Ladarius Green this week.

"I've seen him two days now that he's been on the field," Haley said. "Mentally, he was extremely sharp and I think that's a testament to his staying in it, working even though he wasn't out there with us, he was on the side. That's a lot easier to talk about than to do.

"He came out and from a mental standpoint was very, very good. Physical standpoint, we're in shorts. We gotta get in pads and see some of that side of it, it's obviously important. But for the first two days, I thought it was very positive."

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