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Checkdown Audible: Welcome to the game, Landry Jones

Landry-Jones-RTA-Sports-QB-SteelersCheckdown Audible

On Sunday, the improbable happened.  It wasn’t the 25-13 win by the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals.  It wasn’t the two interceptions the Steelers defense came away with.  It wasn’t even the fact that the defense everyone said was lacking and would struggle came up even bigger against a Cardinals offense that has seen Carson Palmer light up opponents.  It was that, not only did Landry Jones, favorite whipping boy in Pittsburgh, enter the game and ran the offense, but got James Harrison to say he is the team’s quarterback, now.

Don’t believe me?

Ed Bouchette Tweet

Jones has frustrated me into a frenzy numerous times in his three seasons with the Steelers.  During the preseason, there were times when Landry Jones jokes made me laugh. Hard.  I would facepalm myself every time he made a bad play and shake my head at his lack of experience.

On Sunday, Jones came onto the field completely unprepared and could easily have thrown the game away.  Instead, he was relaxed, confident and threw two touchdown passes.  Both went to Martavis Bryant, a guy that could use a little redemption himself.

Colleague Christina Rivers and I had a little in-game chat.  It went like this:

S. Dean:  Did Vick just get knocked out?

Rivers (@3Rivers_Writer on Twitter):  Looks like he hit his head on the turf.

Dean: Wait, he’s coming back out (on the next series).

Rivers: Wait, Landry Jones is coming in.  The Steelers are down to Jones.  Cross your fingers here.

Dean: Vick is out? Hamstring?

Rivers: Holy cow! Did Jones just do that? Did he just throw a TD to Bryant?!

Dean:  Wait, what is happening?

Rivers: (at end of game) Well, Jones just made a lot of doubters think twice about his ability to play.

Dean:  Absolutely (explitive) did! Wow, what a throw to Bryant. 88 yards for a touchdown. Great game.

Yes…we ate our humble pie.

Harrison didn’t need humility or pie.  He just came right out and made a declaration.  Granted, the veteran linebacker who ate Palmer for lunch on one play, doesn’t get to set the roster, but look at this from a player’s perspective.

Vick had his chance.  In his two prior games, he wasn’t able to get the offense firing. Antonio Brown felt alienated. Le’Veon Bell wasn’t as productive.  And in Sunday’s game, Vick looked old.  Yes, old and tired.

Jones came in, Big Ben’s understudy and shadow, unheralded and booed – and saved the day.  Heartbreak to hero in a little over 25 minutes?  Who doesn’t love a story like that?

The kid has plenty left to prove.  But, with the backing of a vet like Harrison, he may have the ability to keep this Steelers team on track and let Ben Roethlisberger heal appropriately instead of rushing back to ‘save’ the season.

A toast to Jones who made me want to believe in this team.


S. Dean is a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan. The former owner of 'The Beam in Pittsburgh', Dean has worked in the sports media field for several years. S. Dean graduated with a degree in physical therapy and sports medicine, has a minor in journalism and is a Mt. Lebanon, PA, native. His favorite Steelers players (all-time) are Jerome Bettis, Lynn Swann and Joey Porter. You can follow him on Twitter @NFLHotTopix and Google Plus. To see his full bio, please visit the Meet Our Staff page.



  1. Bartlett

    October 19, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Bouchette is an ass…. first saying Jones came in to the game “completely unprepared”…. how would he know that? And didn’t Tomlin credit Jones’ preparation with his success?
    Secondly, Ed B said he now wants to believe in this team? So he’s still not a believer, but just wants to be?
    Every armchair fan knows that this team is merely a couple defensive backs away from being championship calibre. Retire Ed, you’ve had your day and I don’t think many of us believe in you anymore!

    • Bartlett

      October 19, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Whoops… guess I totally misread that!
      Sorry Ed…. I’m an ass!
      And it’s DEAN who is the real ass!

  2. Pistol Pete

    October 19, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Jones has had zero snaps with the first team in how many weeks. It was nice to see him play well. And in the burgh, he was hated on.

  3. Pistol Pete

    October 19, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    And Bartlet, you really are an ass. Read the article again. No one said Landry Jones was the savior. Just that he played an unexpected game. Tomlin has said two weeks in a row he NEVER was going to call Jones in, even after the game Sunday. He was asked in his post game conference if he had Jones on his mind to come in
    Tomlin said, “No”. Two defensive backs away from Championship calibre? The defense gonna win all the games, then? No offense. Dream on. The team can’t afford to let Vick keep running the offense. He is a liability. Brown said it, then had to apologize. Armchair quarterbacks? You make an excellent case for being just that.

  4. Pistol Pete

    October 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Guess James Harrison is an armchair quarterback too, then.

  5. OhioSteelers

    October 19, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Ridiculous for fans to argue. Jones played better, period. He should have. Vick may be a veteran, but by his own admission does not understand Haley’s offense. His age isn’t helping him. His teammates are bailing on him emotionally. Jones may not be Hall of Fame material, but Vick is not helping his own cause or giving the team much in the way of options.

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