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After all, by most standards, Jones is an average backup

Messaggio Inviato da | Profilo | Amico del forum | martedì 17 dicembre 2019, 4:21 | | Punti: 650  | Messaggi: 130
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree spent a rare fall weekend off watching the rest of the AFC North falter JuJu Smith-Schuster Jersey White , one by one. First, the Browns lost in overtime in Tampa. Then Baltimore fell at home to New Orleans when Justin Tucker missed the first extra point of his career. Then Cincinnati was bum rushed by Kansas City.And just like that, the Steelers (3-2-1) were back atop the division.“We never panicked,” Dupree said. “We may have lost two games but we never panicked. We tied (but) we never panicked. We know what type of team we got.”One with a chance in a way to start over seven weeks into the season. Pittsburgh is well-rested heading into a visit from the Browns (2-4-1) on Sunday, a rematch of a 21-21 tie in Week 1 that felt an awful lot like a loss to the Steelers, who led by 14 going into the fourth quarter only to see it slip away. Another setback a week later at home to the Chiefs , the continuing melodrama surrounding wide receiver Antonio Brown and the extended absence of All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell had Pittsburgh teetering.Not so much anymore. Brown is tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns and while Bell’s exact arrival date remains uncertain — his locker remained largely untouched on Monday while he continues to wait to sign his one-year franchise tender — the Steelers have survived thanks in large part to the rapid development of second-year back James Conner .Bell told ESPN last month he planned to arrive before Cleveland visited Heinz Field. It still might happen, though it’s hard to imagine him being anywhere close to game ready if he shows up before Sunday. Now the same teammates who called Bell out when he failed to arrive in time for the opener are taking a more pragmatic approach to his extended sabbatical.Center Maurkice Pouncey laughed when asked if there was a betting pool among the Steelers on when exactly Bell will be in his familiar spot just inside the team’s locker-room door.“No bets are out there trust me, we are not gambling here,” Pouncey said.Pouncey might not be, but Bell certainly is. He’s already sacrificed over $5.1 million of the $14.5 million in guaranteed money he was expected to receive this season playing on the tag. Bell’s plan remains a mystery to his teammates and the organization, one of the reasons Pouncey shrugged off questions about Bell’s status.“Honestly I’m enjoying the ride just like you guys,” Pouncey said. “I want to see how it plays out. It seems pretty cool. I don’t know. I’m going to wait and see.”The tension that accompanied Bell’s decision to go away — and stay away — has dissipated. If anything, the Steelers have moved on. That Bell didn’t show up for work Monday hardly qualifies as news. Pittsburgh is more focused on trying to carry forward the momentum it built while beating Atlanta and Cincinnati before heading into its off week, a modest two-game winning streak that suddenly made the Steelers the hottest team in the unpredictable AFC North.Not that they feel the worst is behind them.“For us to focus on something that means completely nothing at this point in the season (like the standings)is worthless,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “I just think got to be a group on the hunt.”Even if technically Pittsburgh is now the hunted, just as it has been while winning the division each of the last two seasons. Then again, things could change quickly. The Steelers host the Browns, then visit Baltimore the following week. They don’t play another division game until facing Cincinnati in the regular-season finale.What the standings will look like then is anybody’s guess. Then again , being in the driver’s seat despite its wholly uneven play certainly beats the alternative.“We don’t have to stand around looking at anybody else and wonder if a team is going to do this or that,” Heyward said. “We play every team once again in our division. We control our destiny, that’s the way you want it. But we got a lot of work to do to do that.”Steelers fans’ joy over the release of Landry Jones might be slightly off-base When I scrolled through my various social media platforms on Saturday and saw posts saying “Yes!” and “Finally!” and “Thank God!” and “Rejoice!” — I just assumed a Third World fascist dictator had been sent into exile. It didn’t take me long, of course, to figure out the release of Steelers’ veteran backup quarterback, Landry Jones, was the real reason for the worldwide celebration. I must say, I was a bit surprised Jones was included in the many casualties of the annual, mandatory cut-down day. But not because I thought he truly was the heir-apparent to Ben Roethlisberger. It’s just how all the signs leading up to Saturday didn’t point to such a move.For one thing, Jones was essentially given the starting quarterback treatment during the preseason, meaning he didn’t play much, while Joshua Dobbs and rookie Mason Rudolph got the bulk of the action. As this pertained to Dobbs, the second-year man out of Tennessee, who was seemingly destined for the chopping block at the very moment Pittsburgh selected Rudolph in the third-round of the most-recent NFL Draft, August football looked like an audition for Dobbs — but one for other NFL teams. You might say the Steelers already knew what they had in Jones, and there was no reason for him to have to fight for his job. It was up to Dobbs to do what he could to convince the coaching staff and front office he was valuable enough to keep over the veteran.Mission accomplished, I suppose. I’ll give you that, but what about the whole “win now” mode the Steelers are in this season? Ithink we’re all in agreement that, if Roethlisberger is lost for all or most of the regular season T. J. Watt Jersey White , the Steelers are toast. Therefore, it wouldn’t matter if Jones, Dobbs or Rudolph was under center. However, the whole point of having a backup to a franchise quarterback is to win a game or three if the franchise quarterback is lost for those games. Can Dobbs do that for the Steelers this year? The powers-that-be must think so — otherwise it really doesn’t make much sense to place him one heartbeat away from the presidency. But what if Dobbs isn’t ready to do that this year and the Steelers are keeping him because they feel his upside is just too good to expose him to other teams? With Rudolph in the mix, that would certainly increase the Steelers’ odds of finding a legitimate future heir to Roethlisberger.But, again, what about now? Roethlisberger previously implied, and even outright stated, having Jones around was of great value because he was experienced enough to act as a mentor to the younger quarterbacks on the roster, thereby keeping them out of No. 7’s hair while he concentrates on winning his third Lombardi. But now, No. 7 not only is going to have to act as a mentor to one young quarterback, but two. That’s a huge responsibility to take on, while also needing to concentrate on learning a slightly-newer playbook designed by a kind of new offensive coordinator. But while I can find a lot to question in the decision to keep Dobbs over Jones, I also get it. As alluded to earlier, the Steelers already knew what they had in Jones, and if he hadn’tmorphed into anything but a backup after five seasons, he likely wasn’t ever going to. Besides, when Jones was thrown into the fray early in the 2015 regular season in a game against the Cardinals at Heinz Field, there was no confidence he would perform the way he did in leading Pittsburgh to a come-from-behind victory. So there’s precedent that an inexperienced Dobbs Womens James Conner Jersey , who only in his second summer with the team, already looks better than Jones did over his first few preseasons, and therefore can be thrown into the fire and perform well under pressure. OK, I get that, but I don’t get the glee. From what I’ve seen, most fans don’t sincerely think Dobbs will be a starter in the NFL someday, so why all this excitement that he’ll be head-and-shoulders better than Jones? quarterback — meaning he’s your basic backup quarterback. If you think Dobbs is substantially better than Jones, that judgment essentially would make him a future starting NFL quarterback.Do you think Dobbs is a future starting NFL quarterback? If not, the glee over the Jones’ release just seems irrational and out of touch — like maybe you needed a quarterback to kick around — and since Roethlisberger was untouchable, you had to go after the backup. If that’s the case, I really hope you’ll have some mercy and go easy on Dobbs if and when he discovers that filling in for a franchise quarterback is mostly a thankless job. John Madden used to say: “The backup quarterback is the most popular player on the team.” I’m guessing if Madden wanted to add to that quote, he’d say, “. . . until he gets in the game.”
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