Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has no reason to be confident in backup QB situation
Kevin Colbert recently expressed his satisfaction with the backup quarterback situation in Pittsburgh. Here’s why the Steelers shouldn’t be comfortable with this.
This time of year, there are a lot of smoke screens around NFL organizations. Free agency and the NFL Draft are quickly approaching, and NFL front offices don’t want to give away their plan of attack. Still, when Steelers general manager, Kevin Colbert, came out and said that he is “comfortable” with his backup quarterbacks, I believe him.
Colbert is a GM who usually sticks to his guns. Bob Labriola of Steelers.com recently caught up with Colbert who had this to say about Pittsburgh’s quarterback situation:
Colbert is clearly content with Ben Roethlisberger’s backups heading into the 2020 season. But should he be?
Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges were both well below replacement level when filling in for Big Ben last season. According to Pro Football Focus, Rudolph posted a 53.0 overall grade on the season – good for 35th of 37 qualifying signal-callers. Hodges was dead last among quarterbacks with a 45.8 overall grade.
While a PFF grade alone isn’t enough to judge a football player by, just look at some of the numbers on the season. Pittsburgh finished 27th in the NFL in points per game (18.1) and 30th in yards per game (276.8). In addition, the Steelers were 31st in the league in passing yards per game and 30th in yards per attempt, according to Team Rankings.
Worst of all, the arrow was pointing down on these quarterbacks by the end of the season. Both Rudolph and Hodges had their most impressive performances in their first NFL action. Once teams were able to gameplan against them, they were rendered completely useless. They combined to lead the Steelers to just 10.0 points per game to close out the last three contests of the season.
Behind them on the depth chart is Paxton Lynch – a former first-round pick who only spent two seasons on the team that drafted him – and J.T. Barrett, a player who doesn’t stand much of a chance to make an NFL roster.
There are a lot of quality free-agent options that could come at a reasonable cost if Pittsburgh were to go that direction. Players like Chase Daniel, Case Keenum, and Blake Bortles are decent backup options with starting experience who may be able to hold down the fort if Ben were to miss some time next season.
Even with a fantastic defense last year, the Steelers proved that it is still impossible to win without decent quarterback play. Colbert has no reason to be confident in his backups at this point. Let’s hope he proves us wrong.