Making the transition from quarterback to wide receiver in the NFL as a rookie has to be an extremely difficult thing to do and the Pittsburgh Steelers currently have two undrafted players on their roster in Devin Gardner and Tyler Murphy attempting to do just that.
As for Gardner, who recently joined the Steelers after being claimed off waivers from the New England Patriots, he recently talked about how he’s trying to make the adjustment to wide receiver.
“It’s a different kind of work,” said Gardner, according to Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. “At quarterback you don’t do much running. You run every once in a while, but you control when the play starts. It’s a different kind of conditioning, a feel.
“I am getting more used to it. I am trying to get better every day. It’s not something in particular where I am really struggling. Catch the ball well, run well and get open. Those are the key things to be a receiver.”
While Gardner is receiving reps at wide receiver during the Steelers OTA practices it appears as though he’s still getting a few at quarterback as well.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, Gardner confirmed after Tuesday’s practice that he worked at quarterback all day. He said he isn’t sure, however, if that move is a permanent one.
The Steelers already have plenty of arms on their offseason roster, so it’s probably not a good sign that the Michigan product is already getting all of his reps at the quarterback position in one practice.
While Gardner did complete just over 60% of the passes that he threw during his four years at Michigan, 32 were picked off during that span with 26 coming in the last two seasons as the full-time starter.
Gardner is a long shot to make the Steelers final 53 man roster this year out of training camp at either position and it probably doesn’t bode well for him that he’s already on his second NFL team prior to the start of training camp.