The 2017 season is over and in the books, the Pittsburgh Steelers coming up far short of their goal. While they had a regular season record of 13-3, they went 0-1 in the postseason, and that will be the legacy of this previous campaign.
The task at hand is working toward improving that postseason record and assuring that it has a zero in the loss column instead of the win column. We can take a position-by-position look at how they can work toward that goal based on their personnel.
Total Positional Figure: 3
Ben Roethlisberger: There was a period of nearly a full season in which it seemed as though Ben Roethlisberger was thoroughly winding down his career. The second half of the 2016 season leading into the first half of the 2017 season by and large featured rather average to even poor play by his standards.
The second half of the 2017 season was quite another matter, as he put up numbers that were indicative of MVP quality. It was some of the best football of his career, which was sustained, for the most part, in his offseason performance after initial shakiness. It is notable that that came against a Jacksonville Jaguars defensed that more or less stifled him when it mattered during the regular season.
Landry Jones: It’s pretty hard to find Landry Jones fans, but they are out there. I suppose you can call me one. He is never going to be a franchise quarterback, and ideally he will never even have to be a bridge starter, but he is a quality backup for the Steelers who knows how to run the offense and can make a variety of throws. He has shown improvement each season as he heads into year six, which is the second of a two-year contract that he signed on the first day of free agency a year ago.
Joshua Dobbs: The assignment is clear for Joshua Dobbs as he enters his second season: continue to learn. He is not being positioned to be put into competition with Jones next season for the backup quarterback job. If that competition even develops, it is because Dobbs made vast improvements.
Offseason Strategy: Stand Pat
Nothing to do here, and nothing to see. In contrast to last offseason, where we had Roethlisberger contemplating retirement, Jones slated to be a free agent, and Zach Mettenberger as an afterthought, there is no reason to believe that any moves will be made at the quarterback position this offseason.
Roethlisberger has said without directly saying to the public that he intends to prolong his career. Even owner Art Rooney II has acknowledged that he had a conversation with the quarterback that referenced wanting to play at least three more years, and broached the topic of a possible extension.
Jones provides stability and comfort at the backup quarterback spot, and Dobbs is a developmental wildcard. He has encouraging traits, such as intelligence, arm strength, and athleticism, but right now they are seeing what he can accomplish this offseason.