In 2012, Landry Jones could have left the Oklahoma Sooners and entered the NFL Draft, possibly becoming a first round draft pick. He could have ended up with a team like the Arizona Cardinals or Kansas City Chiefs and settled in as their starting quarterback. However, Jones chose to return to Oklahoma for his senior season, played a year that was disappointing by Sooners’ standards, and ended up as a fourth round draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Landry Jones is now the backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, a job where he won’t take any regular season snaps unless Ben Roethlisberger, one of the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL, goes down with injury. There is even the chance that Jones won’t start a regular season NFL game until his rookie contract expires a few years from now.
Luckily, Landry Jones is a smart man and someone who knows that he will have to earn his spot in the NFL, a place where only 32 men can begin the season as starting quarterbacks.
“The thing about it is, I am going to go in there and compete as hard as I can and try to win a job,” Jones said at the press conference introducing him to the Steelers nation. “At the end of the day this is going to be a great opportunity for me whether I play quick or whether I have to sit and wait for a couple years. Getting to stand behind (Ben) Roethlisberger is going to be a huge opportunity for me. He is a guy who has been established in this league for a long time and I get to learn from one of the best quarterbacks to play the game. I’m just really excited to get to work with him and really excited about this opportunity.”
One fun bit of trivia about this situation is that Ben Roethlisberger’s sister Carlee Roethlisberger played women’s basketball at OU, alongside Jones’ wife Whitney Hand. That at least gives him an in with the man that he hopes to win the backup job behind. But, his goal is still to win a starting job in the NFL, and he hopes to use this experience working with Big Ben to join fellow Oklahoma Sooners’ star Sam Bradford as a starter in the NFL.
“Ever since you’re a young kid, you do see yourself as a starter. You see yourself winning Super Bowls. You see yourself doing all these different things in the NFL, so I’m just excited about being there and having an opportunity,” Jones said. “I was just happy to get picked up and you have to start your career somewhere. On every single team there’s going to be a quarterback that has your job and you’re going to go in there, you’re going to be respectful and do all these things and compete as hard as you can.”