The Pittsburgh Steelers have recently concluded their offseason schedule, complete with nine OTA practices and the three-day minicamp, and are currently off for about five weeks before they re-emerge in Latrobe for the start of training camp.
Not much is expected to happen between now and then as far as new goes regarding the team. Ideally, the players will simply be focused on getting in the best possible shape heading for the long haul that begins with training camp and concludes, hopefully, with a deep postseason run.
That means that the roster heading into camp should just about be set, so now during the dead time it’s worth taking a dip back into the positional depth charts to see where we stand following the offseason reports, starting, as usual, with the quarterbacks.
Ben Roethlisberger: Entering his 12 season, Roethlisberger appears to be more driven than ever, and has taken seemingly complete ownership over the offense in terms of leading his players and coaching them on the field. This is a new level that we have not seen from him previously, and it is reason to be excited.
Bruce Gradkowski: The veteran backup Gradkowski is heading into his third season with the team, and has only seen three meaningful snaps in that process. He has reportedly sat out some practices with a shoulder injury. Whether that was legitimate or a way to get the other quarterbacks more reps, or more likely a combination of the two, is unclear.
Landry Jones: Jones is entering a pivotal season, his third with the club, and he showed little sign of hope during his first two. Early reports on Jones this offseason have been unsurprisingly negative, but more recently there have been suggestions that he has seemed more comfortable in the pocket. We will see when the preseason rolls around.
Tajh Boyd: Boyd was signed during the offseason after being a sixth-round draft pick who was cut during the preseason last year by the Jets. He was ostensibly brought in to provide competition for Jones at the third quarterback spot, but the reports have been negative with regards to his accuracy, which is unfortunately not surprising. He may be one of the first players cut if there is a need at another position in training camp.
Devin Gardner: Claimed off waivers after the Patriots released this undrafted rookie free agent, Gardner was one of two college quarterbacks that the Steelers were looking at as wide receivers that they brought in for a pre-draft visit. Initially working solely at wide receiver, Gardner’s position on the roster was changed to QB/WR as he began to see time at quarterback during OTAs, though reviews of his performance there were not positive.
Tyler Murphy: Murphy was the other of those two players. Signed by the Steelers after the draft, Murphy now, as well, has been converted from WR on the roster to QB/WR, as he took some quarterback reps during minicamp. The team is evidently hoping that their versatility will increase their potential usefulness.