ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) — There weren’t many Rochesterians happy with the Bills’ season opener, but the family of Jamir Jones would be the exception.
The Rochester native made his NFL debut for the Steelers and helped his team secure a 23-16 win over the Bills. The fact that he got to make his debut so close to home was the icing on the cake.
“On the plane ride here, just landing back home, it felt like home. Seeing all the fans and being in this stadium. This is my first time playing in this stadium, it was an unbelievable experience for sure,” said Jones after the game.
“My family and everybody were hitting me up. I had a few friends come to the hotel last night to come see me. It’s unbelievable support,” Jones added. “I feel that I have a lot of people cheering for me and want to see me do good. I just want to make them proud, that’s all. “
The outside linebacker tallied ten snaps during the game, nine on special teams and one on defense. Jones was on the field for his team’s punt-block for a touchdown, playing a safety role guarding against a potential fake punt.
“We fought hard, it was an unbelievable game to be a part of, first and foremost,” said the Aquinas grad. “A hard-fought game between two playoff teams and to come out with the win is huge, definitely for our team moving forward.”
Jones shined in the preseason and training camp with the Steelers, leading the NFL in quarterback hits and special teams tackles in the preseason. Jones graduated from Notre Dame in 2020, signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent, but was cut in training camp. He latched on with the Steelers this offseason and has made the most of his opportunity.
While Jones made his mark in the preseason, he said it’s a whole other level playing in a regular-season game.
“That first game getting used to it, it’s definitely way different than the preseason. It’s a lot faster,” said Jones. “I just can’t wait to get back to Pittsburgh and continue to work and get ready for next week.”
Jones and the Steelers will play their home opener next week against the Las Vegas Raiders.