Steelers' No. 3 QB Heats Up

Landry Jones put on a show for the downtown crowd watching 'Friday Night Lights.' Here's the Steelers' practice notebook:

LATROBE -- Landry Jones has had a rough go of it since the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him in the fourth round in 2013, but, if Friday night was any indication, that may be changing.

Jones enjoyed what may have been his finest practice with the team as the primary quarterback. Subbing once again for Ben Roethlisberger, and of course Bruce Gradkowski, who's on the PUP list, Jones completed at least his last 10 passes during full team scrimmages. The counting didn't begin until the start of the second of three such scrimmages.

"Yeah, I felt pretty good," said Jones. "It seems like there's just always those one or two plays a day. Today there really wasn't. We'll see on film tomorrow, but yeah I thought I had a pretty decent day."

Jones has been quarterbacking the first team much of this week, since he's likely to see most of the work in the Hall of Fame Game next Sunday.

While Thursday's practice was an improvement over Wednesday's workout, Friday's practice was even better. He was asked if the ball ever hit the ground Friday night.

"Yeah in those seven shots it did," he said of the two-point conversion drill that opens each practice. "That was probably one of a couple of plays."

Jones threw mainly short passes early, but once he found his rhythm the passes traveled further. His final two passes gained 15 yards (to Will Johnson) and 20 yards (to Markus Wheaton). Not only was he accurate with his short and intermediate throws, he zipped a couple of passes complete to the far sideline, and he's never looked so decisive.

"It's all coming together," Jones said. "I'm seeing the plays better and I'm feeling more comfortable inside the offense."


The Steelers of course enjoyed their "Friday Night Lights" in downtown Latrobe at Memorial Stadium. The Steelers estimated the crowd at 10,500-plus with what was called a record 50-50 raffle prize of more than $2,600.

"Man, an awesome atmosphere tonight," Mike Tomlin said of the workout. "We really appreciate the relationship we have with our fans here, being able to feel that and have them inspire us and push us through a good practice. Loved the energy and enthusiasm, the competition. Guys are really warming up to it and getting a sense of what we're looking for with some of these designed drills, and really meeting the challenge in terms of not only technique but also intensity. Intensity is a big element of some of these scripted situations that we put the guys in."


* Jones pumped a bullet pass to Antonio Brown for a conversion in the back of the end zone after throwing an incomplete fade pass to Brown on his first attempt.

* Cornerback Kevin Fogg stuck tight end Rob Blanchflower at the one-yard line and held him up to stop another conversion attempt.

* Bud Dupree and Le'Veon Bell opened the backs-on-backers drill with a violent collision, but the intensity seemed to wane in the drill as perhaps both sides realized they are teammates.

* Dupree, though, was lively in both the blitzing and one-on-one drills.

* DeAngelo Williams stuck his face in the chest of charging Jordan Zumwalt to improve some opinions of his pass-blocking ability.

* Outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo continued to show off his rushing wares in the one-on-one drills.

* Rookie running back Ross Scheuerman broke into the open field, cut to the left side of the field and ran up the sideline for a 25-yard gain before Will Gay knocked him out of bounds. Scheuerman looked like an old school Ed Podolak as he broke away from the pack.

* B.J. Finney had a very solid showing in one-on-one drills, both at guard and center.

* Late in the practice, Ryan Shazier stood Bell up in the hole and gave no ground until the whistle blew.


Missing from practice were many of the same as those who've missed most of this week: James Harrison, Mike Mitchell, Cortez Allen, Will Allen, Heath Miller and Ross Ventrone. Joining the group on the sideline was rookie safety Gerod Holliman, who has a lower leg injury and is day to day.

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