Steelers News

Backup Quarterback To Ben Unclear For 2016

The Pittsburgh Steelers have several decisions to make during the offseason. Though far from the most pressing or talked about, the Steelers have to determine who will backup Ben Roethlisberger. A position that if 2015 is any indication, will be vitally important.

Mike Tomlin isn’t sure who that man will be. Bruce Gradkowski was supposed to be that guy but a finger injury suffered in the preseason quickly canned that idea. Our own David Todd asked Tomlin today if he would like to bring Gradkowski back.

“He’s a free agent. I had an exit meeting with him. I like Bruce. I think more than anything it’s about him getting a level of health and functionality before having any of those conversations. We will at the appropriate time,” Tomlin said.

Landry Jones eventually passed Mike Vick in the pecking order, with relatively up-and-down results. Tomlin was not willing to commit being comfortable with him as the backup.

“Depends of what comfortable is. Depends on what my options are.”

The top quarterbacks set to be free agents include: Chase Daniel, Drew Stanton, Matt Moore, Scott Tolzien, and Tavaris Jackson.

Jackson may be the most interesting one of the list. There is a connection between he and Tomlin. Jackson was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2006, Tomlin’s lone year as the defensive coordinator there.

He never worked out in Minnesota, or as a starting QB anywhere, but has spent the the last several seasons with the Seattle Seahawks as Russell Wilson’s backup. He hasn’t had to play much, throwing 20 passes over the last three years, but the Seahawks have been interested in keeping him around as the #2.

Several of those options, including perhaps Jackson, are going to be re-signed, making a discussion over who the Steelers who should sign moot for quite some time. But it’s worth at least listing the players worth monitoring for now, especially given Tomlin’s comments don’t paint the most comfortable picture with the group he has.

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