Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that the Steelers are moving forward this week with the idea that Landry Jones will be the team’s starting quarterback Sunday in Kansas City.
Beyond that, he doesn’t know.
Ben Roethlisberger is still trying to come back from a sprained MCL and bone bruise, while Mike Vick has a slight tear in his hamstring.
Tomlin praised Jones for his professionalism coming off the bench and throwing a pair of touchdown passes while leading the Steelers to scores on four consecutive possessions, but added, “We’re not going to throw a pep rally or party for him.”
In other words, the Steelers aren’t going to act as if they didn’t expect Jones to play well, despite all indications that they really didn’t.
As for Roethlisberger, Tomlin said he must first get cleared by the team’s doctors and then pass the eye test before he plays.
In my opinion, the Steelers will let Roethlisberger sit this one out and shoot for a return in two weeks against Cincinnati.
@ Tomlin noted that he has a lot of faith in new left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, calling him an intelligent, driven person.
Tomlin said he first noticed Villanueva, a decorated Army vet who did three tours in Afghanistan, two summers ago when the Steelers played the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason game.
Villanueva was then a 6-9 defensive end for the Eagles. But Tomlin noticed him during the playing of the national anthem before the game, saluting as the anthem played.
When the Eagles cut Villanueva loose, the Steelers signed him with the intent on making him an offensive tackle.
We will find out this season if that works out as one of the better success stories you’ll ever hear.
@ Tomlin said he has not checked on the status of Mike Adams this week because he knew that Adams wouldn’t be ready to return off the PUP list this week.
He also added that he expects center Maurkice Pouncey to return sometime this season and that Pouncey did not, as reported, have a second surgery on his ankle.
It appears that second opinion he had in North Carolina last week was a good one.
@ Tomlin said Will Allen is still recovering from his ankle sprain and that Stephon Tuitt will be someone the team will monitor all week.
He did say Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier will both play this week.
Tomlin has talked in a positive fashion about Shazier in previous weeks but I don’t think he ever said he WILL play.
If Tuitt is unable to play, Tomlin said the Steelers will use a variety of players and didn’t rule out playing Steve McLendon at end when asked.