State of the Steelers: Quarterback

image-17With draft talk already starting to heat up for Steelers fans, I’ve found myself sounding like a broken record on twitter.

Every time someone brings up this prospect, or that position, it becomes a debate about what the Steelers biggest needs are.

That got me thinking… Why not take a look at the Steelers roster positions by position to help address where the biggest holes lie. Today, I’ll start with the most important position on any roster.

Most of the talk the past couple of days has been about Ben Roethlisberger’s contract situation. Art Rooney II caused some commotion when he said that Ben wouldn’t necessarily be extended this off-season.

First of all, I think he will be, and second of all I’m not worried regardless. The Steelers are too smart to let the team’s most valuable player (with all due respect to Antonio Brown) go anywhere, despite what Ian Rapoport wants to say.

That leaves us with the backups to Ben. This was the first season in quite some time that the Steelers’ second, and even third string quarterbacks didn’t see the field.

The first man off the bench this season will be Bruce Gradkowski once again. Gradkowski still has two years remaining on his contract and really as far as we know is the same guy they signed one year ago.

Bruce is a middle of the road backup quarterback that can do some impressive things with his arm as well as his legs. I wouldn’t expect him to get much competition in camp for the second spot on the depth chart.

Finally, in the last spot is the second year man Landry Jones. Jones by most accounts looked pretty terrible in training camp last season. I know that I felt John Parker Wilson outplayed Jones throughout the entire preseason.

Jones’ status as a 4th round draft choice kept him on the roster. I would guess that won’t change this season either, as there’s really no urgency to have the 3rd QB on the roster playing well, and the Steelers won’t want to give up on a mid-round draft choice so quickly.

There will certainly be a 4th camp arm added. I would hope John Parker Wilson returns after a strong preseason last year. However, part of me wonders if the Steelers won’t want to embarrass Jones two season in a row by getting outplayed by JPW.

Steelers camp regular Jerrod Johnson was already signed by the Chicago Bears on New Year’s Eve.

I’d say the quarterback position is pretty well set already. If the Steelers hadn’t drafted Jones so high I would say a late round project is a possibility, but Steeler nation may riot if they throw away picks in back to back years on the position.

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