Every year I have a love/hate relationship with writing these out. The hate comes from the fact that some of them are just down-right difficult or boring to write out while the love comes from the fact that we are so much closer to seeing the Steelers back on the football field.
As always, we begin with the most important position on the gridiron and that would be the quarterback.
Starter: Ben Roethlisberger
Wasn’t that dramatic? OK, no it wasn’t but put yourself in the shoes of a fan who hasn’t had a franchise quarterback in many years and see how that feels. Roethlisberger solidified his place in Steelers’ lore by having his best year statistically and then followed that up by signing a new contract that keeps him in the Steel City until he decides to leave the game.
The concerns about his durability have dwindled. He has played two straight seasons now where he has started all 16 games. Can he keep that string going? I see no reason for him not too with so many great players around him on offense.
Back-Up: Bruce Gradkowski
In the mind of General Manager Kevin Colbert, Landry Jones would now be the back-up and heir apparent to Roethlisberger but it hasn’t quite turned out that way. Gradkowski has been a solid #2 behind Big Ben because he isn’t a threat to him and he’s a veteran who can win a game or two in a short span if needed.
Third Quarterback: Landry Jones
If you’re a routine reader of my stuff then you know my feelings about the drafting of Jones. It was a wasted pick and continues to be one today. With the Steelers typically making just two QBs active on their gameday roster, the fact that Jones has been taking up space on the non-active roster is disturbing. Especially when you consider how many needs this team had.
Pittsburgh brought in former Clemson star Tajh Boyd to challenge Jones and I think he will but Boyd isn’t up against just Jones. He’s also up against Colbert. I say this because we’ve already seen a quarterback, John Parker Wilson to be specific, come into camp and out-perform Jones.
The problem is that Colbert doesn’t want to admit that taking Jones was a mistake so unless Boyd looks like the second coming of Warren Moon then Jones gets the nod.
Next Up: Running Backs
Photo courtesy times-news.com