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What can Jaguars fans expect from Landry Jones?

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Earlier today, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced that they signed former Steelers quarterback Landry Jones to the active roster.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter later clarified that the move was insurance for Blake Bortles, who mysteriously has a left shoulder injury that he sustained from this past weekend’s game against the Eagles in London. Nevertheless, Jaguars fans are intrigued by the team making a move at what has been the most tumultuous position on the roster this season.

Who is Landry Jones?

Landry Jones was a four-year starter at Oklahoma who played under co-offensive coordinators Jay Norvell and Josh Heupel, both of whom are currently NCAA head coaches for Nevada and UCF respectively. To this day, Jones holds the Big 12 record in career passing yards (16,271) and unfortunately, also owns the Big 12 record for career interceptions (52). In his 53 career starts, Jones’ passer rating increased each year and he finished with a 63.6% career completion percentage. Jones was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round (115th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.

In his five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jones appeared in 19 total games and made five starts (two in 2015, two in 2016, one in 2017) filling in for Ben Roethlisberger when injured or during week 17 rest weeks. In those five starts under offensive coordinator Todd Haley, Jones has a winning 3-2 record. In his lone start in 2017 against the Browns, Jones completed 85% of his passes for 239 yards with a touchdown and interception. Jones was released on September 1st, 2018 during final roster cuts after the Steelers had invested draft picks in developmental quarterbacks Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph.

Film Room

At 6’4” 225-pounds, Landry Jones is a pure pocket passer with even less mobility than Cody Kessler.

Much like Kessler, Jones is most effective in a West Coast Offense where he can rely on his ball placement and accuracy on short to intermediate routes, mainly slants and flats.

Here is a good look of Jones fitting the ball into a tight window on a post.

Jones does have a snappy release and gets the ball out in a hurry. Here’s a quick WR screen that went for a huge gain.

While Jones is concise and urgent in his short and immediate distribution, his placement on deep passes can be erratic. Working off play action here, if Jones leads JuJu Smith-Schuster who beats his man, it’s a touchdown. Instead, Smith-Schuster has to come back to the underthrow and bail him out.

As mentioned above, Jones is the all-time Big 12 leader in interceptions, and he hasn’t exactly been the best custodian of the football in the NFL (8 TDs, 7 INTs). Decision-making is a question mark, as you can see him force a pass here to Juju Smith-Schuster into double coverage when he had an easier option underneath to the running back for an easy first down on 2nd & 9.

Here’s another weird decision, as Martavis Bryant is schemed open with an assist from a rub from the slot receiver Eli Rogers, but he goes to the covered Rogers anyway for a high-difficulty throw.

Conclusion

Look, Landry Jones worked out for the Bills a few weeks ago and they chose to sign a half-retired Derek Anderson instead. They could have signed Jones after their poor Monday Night Football outing against the Patriots, but chose to bring in Matt Barkley today. Same goes for the 49ers, who chose to go with Tom Savage after bringing Landry in for a workout.

In reality, Jones is simply a taller Cody Kessler with less mobility. If this team is going to make a change to a different quarterback, whether it is Bortles injury or performance-related, it’s going to be Kessler. Jones is just another body if Bortles can’t go, for whatever reason. Cap probably said it best: