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Landry Jones on make-or-break audition, Brandon Boykin gets pick-six

LATROBE, Pa. -- Landry Jones will get more reps than any Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback this preseason, starting Sunday against Minnesota in the Hall of Fame game.

That can go two ways.

"It's either going to be really good for us here or really good for him maybe somewhere else," quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner said. "It's kind of to that point, probably. He's going to be on stage to audition for us and everybody else."

Landry, meet blast.

Overall, it's a fair assessment. Jones, a fourth-round pick in 2013, has had an uneven practice career for the Steelers. But he has had a productive training camp, aside from a pick-six to Brandon Boykin in 7-on-7 drills.

Boykin's raw playmaking ability should help this team. With rookie Senquez Golson still out for an undisclosed time, the Steelers are fortunate to get that trade with the Eagles for Boykin done.

As for Jones, the Steelers want to see him execute the whole offense -- managing pass protections, anticipating throws and checkdowns. Fichtner said Jones is getting more aggressive with his throws instead of passively waiting for receivers to get open, which didn't work in his first two years. He's hoping that translates Sunday.

"It looks like he's a little more comfortable," Fichtner said. "He's probably making quicker decisions with the ball. In this league, guys aren't really open. You have to throw them open. He's learning that concept."

In other Steelers news, the team is sitting several starters but could play outside linebackers Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree, first-round picks who are trying to unseat veterans James Harrison and Arthur Moats. This preseason is crucial for both. This is a position to watch because Jones could use a strong outing to start the preseason after a wrist injury wrecked his 2014 campaign. Dupree's athleticism has shown up in spots during camp but whether he can get to the quarterback in live action is what the Steelers want to see.