Bill Belichick gives complimentary scouting report on Steelers QB Landry Jones

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Bill Belichick gives complimentary scouting report on Steelers QB Landry Jones

FOXBORO -- The Patriots may not have to go prepare for Steelers quarterback Ben Roesthlisberger this weekend, but coach Bill Belichick insisted on Wednesday that Roethlisberger's backup poses some problems of his own.

Landry Jones will get the start for Mike Tomlin's club, and there's enough tape on him from Weeks 6 and 7 of last season -- when he took over the offense while Roethlisberger dealt with an injury -- that the Patriots know what to expect when they head to Heinz Field on Sunday.

"Ahtletic, good arm, quick release, doesn't hold the ball," Belichick said of Jones. "Thought he played well last year when he played in Arizona and Kansas City . . . Another good player, experienced player. Knows their system."

Indeed, in Jones' lone start last season against the Chiefs, he ran the kind of varied looks teams have come to expect from Pittsburgh's offense. He took snaps from under center and out of the shotgun. He used three, five and seven-step drops. He worked the middle of the field and wasn't afraid to take deep shots down the field.

Jones, a fourth-round pick in 2013, was not as accurate as Roethlisberger likely would have been, however, completing just 55 percent of his passes. He also had difficulty taking care of the football as he was intercepted twice (one off of a drop from Antonio Brown) and he was strip-sacked while running the four-minute drill as the Steelers attempted a comeback. 

Belichick said the challenge of defending Landry is that he won't be fixated on one type of throw or one receiver. The Patriots will have to be ready for a host of different looks -- even though those looks may not be run as effectively as they would be with Roethlisberger behind center.

"He does a good job," Belichick said. "Comebacks, in-cuts, deep balls, throws all those well. But the catch-and-run plays, if you drop back and take those away, those are a problem, too.

"They do a good job on crossing routes and obviously when you get the ball to the backs, those guys are dangerous. Tight ends really show up a lot in the red area. [Jones] doesn't discriminate. Gets the ball to everybody.

"And that's the tough thing about defending the Steelers. If they get behind you, it's all over in one play. If you take that away, then they get chunks of yardage on catch-and-run plays, and a running game. They're very hard to defend. Very explosive."