The Pittsburgh Steelers have several players on their offseason roster that can play the quarterback position and while two of them, Ben Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski are obviously locks to make the roster this year, it sounds like former fourth-round draft pick Landry Jones isn’t.
Several Twitter reports Thursday indicate that Jones, who is entering his third year in the league, is having a very poor showing so far during the team’s OTA practices. In fact, Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times described Jones’ Thursday performance as being “brutal” and that he believes the Oklahoma product will need a strong training camp and preseason in order to make the roster this year.
We will take a break here to see if any of you reading this news is the least bit surprised. No? Ok, I didn’t think so. Let’s continue.
The Steelers signed Tajh Boyd during the offseason to compete for the No. 3 quarterback spot. In addition to the Clemson product, while originally added to the roster as players transitioning to the wide receiver position, Tyler Murphy and Devin Gardner both played quarterback during their recently concluded college careers. In fact, Gardner is reportedly now working solely at the quarterback position as of this week. Read into that what you will, but Bradford added Thursday that the Michigan product makes for a better receiver.
Thanks to Steelers being scheduled to play five preseason games this year, I suspect we’ll see quite a lot of Jones and Boyd during the Hall of Fame game against the Minnesota Vikings. Jones has attempted all of 110 passes over the course of the last two preseasons while Boyd attempted just 17 exhibition passes last year with the New York Jets prior to him being waived. Neither looked good.
Jones still has time this offseason to turn things around, but as much practice time as he’s already had in Pittsburgh since he was drafted, odds are good that his ceiling won’t be even that of an average backup in the NFL.
Will Boyd, Murphy or Gardner be much better than Jones? I doubt it, but they all probably couldn’t be much worse, either.
If only the Steelers would’ve used that draft pick they spent on Jones to select a defensive player, or even a punter for that matter, instead.