Steelers: Rookie QB at Mini-Camp


The Steelers listed two QB’s in their early May mini-camp: Tahj Boyd, who signed with the team earlier this year and D. J. Williams, from Grambling State.

My first reaction to seeing the roster with two young QB’s was positive.  I think the Steelers have to keep looking for what life after Ben Roethlisberger will look like.

Bruce Gradkowski isn’t going anywhere, but he’s not Roethlisberger’s long-term replacement. It doesn’t look like Landry Jones is it either.

What does Boyd offer?

Boyd offers, at the very least, someone who doesn’t give up. He was impressive during his time in Clemson. Boyd stood out in his leadership too.

I cringed when I heard the Jets draft him. I thought they would waste his talent. Their track record of choosing the QB that would work well with their system is poor and their development and support of their young offensive talent is as well.

Then I saw Boyd was cut and didn’t even make the team. Wow. Granted, he was a sixth-round pick, but not even the practice squad? He apparently struggled more than a rookie QB can and be worthwhile to a team, according to

He signed with the Miami team in the XFXL.  It will be interesting to see if he credits that as a good experience.

D. J. Williams, the surprise attendee

D. J. Williams has been in the news the last couple of years and so has his father.  If you follow college football at all, surely you have heard about the issues at Grambling State.

D. J. is the son of Doug Williams, QB for the Washington Redskins and Super Bowl XXII MVP.  During his coaching career, Doug was Head Coach for Grambling, his alma mater, twice.  He was fired from his second tenure and the reasons appear murky, as you can see in this article.

During that second tenure at Grambling, his son D.J. was a QB there.  D.J.’s years at Grambling are highlighted by some financially troubling times for Louisiana and the state’s austerity measures hit the school hard.

If you didn’t hear or read about the player’s boycott that forced a game cancellation, check it out. Then D.J. faced some even bigger personal adversity.  In Sep 2014, he tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL during a game.

In an article in the News Star, a Louisiana paper, Doug Williams notes D. J.’s positive attitude during all the turmoil at Grambling and during his recovery.

Tomlin appears to have seen something in this young man that deserves a work out.

A Tale of Two OR Three QB’s

The Steelers like to uncover hidden gems. While I don’t know if either Boyd or Williams are “gems,” I like their potential. You can probably point to 101 things that they did or didn’t do in college which will make them not fit in the NFL or with the Steelers.

It’s all speculation. Who expected Roethlisberger to be what he has become? I’m willing to bet that list is brief.

Even if neither Boyd or Williams get picked up with the Steelers, I hope they keep working hard and land on their feet with some team.

Next: Steelers Signing SEC Speed, Peezy on Jones

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