They're being called perfect fits. Jarvis Jones, college football's best pass rusher, and a Steelers defense in desperate need of a pressure-the-passer presence. Le'Veon Bell, the Big Ten's most prolific running back, and a Steelers offense that had its second-lowest rushing output since 1978. Six weeks since the NFL Draft, there is no evidence that neither first-round Jones nor second-round Bell will start the Sept. 8 opener against Tennessee. While the Steelers insist they didn't draft them to fill urgent needs, they certainly seem to do exactly that. Not so fast, according to a couple of Steelers veteran players. Inside linebacker Larry Foote said coordinator Dick LeBeau's defense can be so complicated at first for a player coming out of college — even one who played the 3-4 defense like Jones did at Georgia — that starting as a rookie could be a difficult assignment. And running back Isaac Redman said Wednesday that while it's difficult to judge any player before the pads come on, which won't happen until training camp, trying to start as a Steelers rookie can be an intimidating prospect. “It's pretty hard to start any position as a rookie, to come in and see the change of speed. He won't really realize it until he gets into the game,” Redman said. “But I wish him all the best of luck.” Coach Mike Tomlin said earlier in the week he won't begin to sort out the running back situation — Bell, Redman and Jonathan Dwyer are competing — until training camp. Regardless, Redman is ready to make a rather bold prediction about what was the NFL's 26th-best rushing offense last season.
Rookies Bell, Jones could start for Steelers if they can learn systems
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Jun 8