The Pittsburgh Steelers have been careful to tie UDFA Devin Gardner to a single position, giving him reps at wide receiver and now quarterback during OTAs.
With Bruce Gradkowski getting some rest yesterday, Gardner saw an expanded role under center, according to Jacob Klinger of pennlive.com.
Klinger spoke with quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner on the difficulty of the transition for the rookie.
“This will be all totally new to him, much like many of the type of spread quarterbacks that play – heck, he was a spread quarterback that played and wasn’t even a full-time quarterback.”
The coach spoke to Gardner needing to show consistency above all else.
“If you’re going to throw the ball to the other team, then you’re not going to get a chance to take too many of them reps,” he told Klinger.
The Steelers showed interest in the Michigan product prior to the draft but were unable to sign him following it as Gardner joined the New England Patriots. Following his release, Pittsburgh claimed him off of waivers.
Some have been optimistic about Gardner’s chances, even floating the idea of utilizing him on two-point attempts, but it’s hard to imagine how he will make the 53 man roster. Unless training camp tells a drastically different story, it would appear his best chance will come through the practice squad and working as a scout team QB.
During his collegiate career, Gardner completed 60.4% of his passes, threw for 44 TDs and 32 INTs, while catching 18 passes, all but two coming during the 2012 season. He rushed for over 900 yards and 24 touchdowns