The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was very shortly after the 2016 season ended. It would be safe to say that quite a bit has changed, and, in a rarity, this actually applies to literally every position on the roster, including the quarterbacks and specialists.
We are closing in on the opening of the Steelers’ several weeks of training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, however, so it would be a good time to pause and take stock of where the team stands at each position as we head into the most critical process of the offseason.
Total Positional Figure: 4
Ben Roethlisberger: The last time we revisited the Steelers’ roster, we weren’t even 100 percent certain that Ben Roethlisberger would be committed to playing during the 2016 season. But he has since given that commitment, though not beyond this year.
While there was certainly a lot to like about Roethlisberger’s 2016 performance, I think even he knows that he needs to give a bit more for them to get over the hump. To be more accurate, he needs to find a way to be more consistent on the road, as that has clearly been the biggest issue. That, and staying healthy.
Landry Jones: The Steelers re-signed Landry Jones this offseason to a two-year contract in order to continue to serve as Roethlisberger’s backup, and we have seen some growth from the fifth-year signal caller over the course of the past two years. It should be no surprise that that coincided with actually getting playing time. He led a come-from behind performance in the season finale against the Browns.
Joshua Dobbs: Pittsburgh has seemed to realize, however, that Jones is not their future, and they ended up drafting Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. An athletic, intelligent, mobile quarterback with a big arm, he brings a lot to the table, but he also has a long way to go.
Bart Houston: Bart Houston is already the second fourth-arm quarterback the Steelers have tried on for size. He could get some reps with Roethlisberger getting plenty of rest during training camp.
Zach Mettenberger: After they drafted Dobbs, the Steelers quickly released Zach Mettenberger, whom they claimed off waivers prior to the regular season last year. He spent the season as the third quarterback, not dressing when everybody was healthy, but evidently they saw enough to know that he wasn’t in the cards.
Notes and Camp Outlook:
As I noted above, Roethlisberger is going to be given a lot of veteran’s days off during training camp, and is not going to play much in the preseason, so that means that there will be a lot of reps to go around for the rest of the quarterbacks.
One thing to look out for is to see how many reps the Steelers might give Dobbs with the first-team offense. While he shouldn’t be expected to pass Jones as the backup this year, they obviously are going to want to see what he can do running the ship.