Jones expects to start

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The Steelers want to increase the number of snaps outside linebacker Jarvis Jones plays against the Cincinnati Bengals. Especially after another stunning play he made on just his second NFL snap.

It appears that will happen in a big way.

Jones, the team's No. 1 draft choice, said he is running with the first-team defense in practice and plans to stay there for a nationally televised game Monday night on ESPN and WTAE.

"That's the way it is right now," Jones said after practice Wednesday. "As long as I continue to keep doing what I'm doing, I hope it stays like that."

Jason Worilds started the season opener against the Tennessee Titans and was rotated every third series with Jones at right outside linebacker. On the second play of his first series, Jones made a jarring tackle on running back Chris Johnson, dropping him for a 2-yard loss.

After that, he played more in the second half. Worilds played 47 snaps against the Titans, Jones 26. .

"It's my dream, it's something I definitely want to do is start and be in that rotation and fight with my guys," Jones said. "I just want to continue to strive for the best and keep getting better."

The Steelers haven't had a defensive rookie open the season as a starter since linebacker Kendrell Bell in 2001. Other defensive players have eventually become starters in their rookie season, such as nose tackle Casey Hampton, who became a starter in the sixth game of the 2001 season. The most recent No. 1 pick to start an opener was cornerback Chad Scott in 1997.

"Any role that I can contribute to helping my team win, whether it's starting or co-starting or coming off the bench, I'm going to accept it and play to the best of my ability," Jones said.

"At the end of the day, I can't control anything, as far as the coach's decision. The only thing I can do is put my work out there, put my resume out there."

Next

• Game: Steelers (0-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1),.

• When: 8:30 p.m. Monday.

• TV: ESPN, WTAE.

Steelers

Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com and Twitter @gerrydulac.


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