Landry Jones had a message for his teammates at a Wednesday morning meeting before the Steelers took the practice field to begin preparations for the Patriots.
“He said that as smooth as Landry can say it,” veteran linebacker Arthur Moats joked. “Anytime Landry Jones graces us with his verbal leadership we always appreciate that.
“In all seriousness, we’re extremely confident. We’re not worried about who’s out there. We understand the next man up motto. Any position, we’ve seen guys have success. We’re anticipating Landry having success. It’s ultimately his time to shine.”
Jones, the Steelers’ backup quarterback who will start Sunday in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger, will be making his third NFL start. Roethlisberger had surgery Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and told the Post-Gazette Tuesday there is no definitive timetable for his return.
The Steelers have an off week after the Patriots game and then travel to Baltimore Nov. 6 for an AFC North game.
Jones faces a tough challenge against the Patriots, who sit atop the AFC with a 5-1 record. But Jones doesn’t want to play tentatively against the Patriots. When he’s had success in previous games when he’s replaced Roethlisberger he’s played with a fearless mentality.
That’s something he wants to duplicate Sunday afternoon.
“I think if you’re a backup in these types of situations you can almost try to be too perfect and too careful,” Jones said Wednesday morning. “One time coach Tomlin said something along the lines of ‘Gunfighters are going to get shot.’ For me, I’d rather go out there and cut it loose rather than be too careful and take every check-down. You have to take what the defense gives you and be cautiously aggressive.”
Ray Fittipaldo: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @rayfitt1.