One of the biggest storylines surrounding Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers as they began training camp is whether or not 2013 first-round pick Jarvis Jones would open the season as the starting outside linebacker.
That answer is no. At least for now.
As expected, the starting job simply won’t be handed to Jones. He will have to earn it.
With that being said, Tomlin named Jason Worilds the starter as camp begins.
In an interview with the team’s official website, Tomlin indicated that Worilds and cornerback Cortez Allen are considered starters.
“They were solid contributors a year ago to our efforts defensively,” Tomlin said. “They’ve been around this program and understand the level of expectation and what’s expected. It’s their time. They’re continually ascending, or they need to be, and we’ll give them that benefit of the doubt as we go into training camp. Obviously, things are subject to change, but what they’ve done here in Pittsburgh to this point in their careers I think merits that.”
The battle between Worilds and Jones promises to be the better ones during camp. However Tomlin made the right move by naming Worilds the starter right off the bat.
As I mentioned before, Jones is going to have to earn the job. But believe me; he will be given every opportunity to do so.
Overall Worilds has been a disappointment since being a second-round pick in 2010. A lot of that is due to injuries, but some of that is due to the fact that when given an opportunity, Worilds hasn’t made much of an impact.
Judging by the fact that the Steelers tried to keep Harrison at a reduced price and then used a first-round pick on Jones, they aren’t truly confident that Worilds can claim the starting job and hold onto it for a 16-game season.
Considering the fact that Tomlin rarely puts rookies into the regular rotation right off the bat, it’s really no surprise that Jones wasn’t proclaimed the starter right off the bat.
However despite Tomlin proclaiming Worilds the starter now, no one is ready to proclaim him the starter for the September 8 opener against the Tennessee Titans.
Jones will have plenty of time to change Tomlin’s mind by then.