The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Will Zach Mettenberger still be on the Steelers’ roster at the start of the 2017 regular season?
There is a pretty obvious implication embedded in this question, and the implication is obviously that the Steelers will have most likely drafted a quarterback if Zach Metteberger fails to make the roster.
There are a few others scenarios that are less likely be varying degrees that could get Mettenberger off the roster, such as injury, suspension, committing a murder, going blind, losing limbs etc., but chances are if he doesn’t make the team, it’s because a rookie draft pick beat him out for the spot.
The Steelers seized upon the opportunity last year in the preseason to claim Mettenberger off waivers when he was released by the Titans. A need for a quarterback had arisen after Bruce Gradkowski once again suffered an injury that landed him on injured reserve.
The former late-round draft pick spent the entire season as the third quarterback and only dressed when Ben Roethlisberger did not. Practice reports from beat writers have, quite frankly, not been overly positive about his performances, though he didn’t have an offseason with the team.
If the team does draft a quarterback, barring a very late-round pick, one would have to think that they are going to want him to make the roster almost no matter what, so should that happen Mettenberger may not even be given an open competition to retain his spot on the roster—unless he plays so well that he unseats Landry Jones, which is pretty unlikely.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anybody here who follows us who holds the belief that Mettenberger is better than Jones. No matter what the Steelers do in the draft, Mettenberger is going to make it through the offseason, so, at least ostensibly, he would still have an opportunity to make the roster by beating out Jones.