Jarvis Jones is just like every other football players in the NFL – he watches a lot of film.
Saying that, it’s pretty certain that the film Jones has been studying isn’t being looked at by any other linebacker in the league.
Jones said has been watching tape of former Steelers linebacker and current defensive assistant Joey Porter to help his pass-rushing repertoire.
It’s already paying off.
Jones, who had only sack as a rookie first-round pick last year, sacked Eli Manning on the fifth defensive play of the first preseason game.
Sure, it was only the preseason and came against backup Charles Brown, but it was encouraging because of how he got to the quarterback – an inside move.
Jones is a speed guy and really didn’t use an inside move last year. It made him predictable and easy to block. Jones was being labeled as a one-trick pony. Not anymore.
“Last year I was always (rushing) outside, outside, outside rather than going inside,” Jones was telling me on Monday. “I didn’t start to go inside until near the end of last year. If they sit there and watch film and see you go outside all the time, they are going to jump you outside. They see I am going inside they now have to play both ways. You just can’t jump me off the line. Now you have to honor my speed up field and the inside.”
And you know darn well mixing up pass rushing moves is something that Porter has been preaching.
During training camp, you can hear Porter coaching up the pass-rushers by constantly reminding them to mix up their moves from outside, inside and bull rushes. Not only that, but what moves to use on what players.
During a practice last week, Porter made it quite clear that guys like Jones shouldn’t be using their good moves against tight ends. To paraphrase Porter: Tight ends don’t want to block you.
“He’s been a great help to me since Day 1 he has been here,” Jones said. “He is slowing the game down for me a whole lot as far as detail work and technique, hand placement, getting off the ball and reading keys and stuff like that. He is helping me become a great pass rusher.”
Porter did have 98 career sacks in which 60 of them came while with the Steelers from 1999-2006. The Steelers hired Porter in the spring to specifically work with the pass rushers and most notably Jones.
“When you go back and look at the film, we kind of play the same way,” Jones said. “He was very athletic – probably more athletic than me. I go back and watch film and some of the moves he made to add different things to my repertoire. What really works is when you get to see it and transition it into the game.”
So far, so good.