Pittsburgh Steelers Backup Quarterback Situation


Earlier today Bob Labriola was asked a few questions about the Pittsburgh Steelers regarding their offseason news and notes.  One question that arose was about the Steelers backup quarterback position and what would happen if Ben Roethlisberger was ever to go down with an injury.

The Steelers currently have three other quarterbacks on the roster, behind Big Ben.  Nine-year veteran Bruce Gradkowski, who has not started a game since 2010 and has only thrown three passes since signing with the Steelers in 2013.  The Steelers also have Landry Jones, who has yet to even attempt an NFL pass, and Tajh Boyd, who also has no NFL attempts.

Here was the question posed to Labriola.

"“Tim Tebow is presently without a contract.  Bruce Gradkowski is, let’s say, mediocre at best, and Landry Jones was a wasted pick.  If Ben Roethlisberger, God forbid, goes down with an injury, would it not make sense to carry a more mobile quarterback?  At least, Tebow could be an H-back or a utility tight end on the roster to increase his value, unlike the other two backup quarterbacks.” – John Podlewski"

Now before anybody goes crazy about the mention of Tim Tebow becoming a Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback here is the response from Labriola.

"“If Bruce Gradkowski “is, let’s say, mediocre at best, and Landry Jones was a wasted pick,” and yet no other NFL teams wants Tebow as a quarterback or an H-back or a utility tight end and hasn’t for a couple of years, what does that make him?  And to emphasize the point about Tebow not being NFL caliber, here are just some of the quarterbacks currently on NFL rosters: Jimmy Clausen, Zac Dysert, Thad Lewis, Matt McGloin, Jordan Palmer, Tom Savage, Matt Sims, and Tyrod Taylor.”"

That about settles the Tebow idea.  But the question is still a valid one.  If Roethlisberger were ever to get injured, which before the past two seasons was not an unheard of thing, would you really trust Bruce Gradkowski to lead the offense for a few games.  Remember when Dennis Dixon was starting games in 2010?  Imagine Landry Jones or Tajh Boyd starting for the Steelers this season.  That’s terrifying but it’s actually a possibility if things go poorly on the injury front.

There are some other options available in free agency, but after the Steelers signed Boyd it’s highly unlikely that they would add another quarterback.  This also isn’t the best year to find a quarterback in the NFL Draft, plus the Steelers have too many other needs to even consider drafting a quarterback in the first four or five rounds.

The Steelers front office might have no plans to improve the backup quarter back position and based on the way Roethlisberger has been fitting into the Todd Haley offense by taking less sacks and throwing the ball quicker.  Maybe they have nothing to worry about this season, but eventually the backup QB position is going to need an upgrade.

Next: Steelers Salary Cap Update

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