As two NPC writers (Gottschalk and Pregler) have already pointed out, the Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert is prepared to make some roster moves and no one is safe. At one point, someone asked him about drafting a quarterback this year and he replied that everything has to be looked at. At least one blogger/columnist picked up on that point. Marc Sessler, a writer for “Around the League” on NFL.com titled his article: “Steelers Won’t Rule Out Drafting a QB early.” I don’t’ think Colbert’s statement was that illuminating and am with Craig Gottschalk on calling “shenanigans.” However, Sessler’s title got me thinking. I’m not sure the 2013 draft is where the Steelers should focus when it comes to quarterbacks.
Roethlisberger has just turned 30, as Sessler points out. That isn’t going to make a difference to the defenders, especially with his reputation for evading and shaking off tackles. Ben is in for more bone-shaking hits. In 2012, The offensive line did a better job, at least at the beginning of the season, of keeping Roethlisberger standing upright throughout a play. He was only sacked 30 times this year compared with last 42 sacks last year. However, Ben missed three games due to injury and, truthfully, that affected his playmaking ability for the rest of the year.
So, as I see it, the concern about the QB position is two-fold. First, the Steelers need someone who can back-up Roethlisberger if there is an injury. It seems like I should say “when” instead of “if,” but I’ll try to stay positive. The back-up needs to have some experience in the NFL and is someone who can step in, sort of mid-stride, and take over. That is a short-term solution. I was surprised when the Steelers brought Leftwich back in 2012. I thought Leftwich’s injury history made his less desirable, but he did have familiarity with Roethlisberger. Second, the Steelers need to put some thought into player development. Batch is 38 years old and I would be surprised to see him return as a player, so I think the Steelers have two QB positions to fill. This year’s draft class does not seem to feature the amazing QBs of last year’s draft. However, there could be some hidden gems among the players. I think many would place Roethlisberger in that category. Yet, this may not be the year to bring on the NFL newbie quarterback.
I agree with Colbert that nothing should be off the table. However, I would be surprised if the Steelers do anything with the quarterback position in the draft. I think it is too bad they had to let Brian Hoyer go after only having him on the roster for a few games during Roethlisberger’s injury. He still seems like a good candidate to bring back and work out in camps. I hope the Steelers are realistic with their plans when they balance against the money issues.