What the Pittsburgh Steelers have on their hands right now is a quarterback problem. But this one is a good problem to have, for a change. They believe that they have four quarterbacks who are worthy of a roster spot, and they have less than 12 hours to make a decision about where each of them will wind up.
Keeping four quarterbacks on a roster is not particularly common. The Steelers most recently did it in 1999 and again in 1995, but in both instances, there were some qualifiers. In 1995, we were talking about the rookie season of Kordell Stewart, who at that time was contributing in ways other than purely throwing the football.
After the Steelers drafted Mason Rudolph back in the spring, General Manager Kevin Colbert spoke in pretty clear terms in suggesting that the team was not going to keep four quarterbacks. We heard this sentiment echoed up and down the ranks. The tone has changed as the preseason has come and gone.
Colbert was asked if it was crazy for them to keep four quarterbacks while serving as a guest on the Starkey & Mueller Show, and he explained that it’s unusual for it to happen, but that it has happened in the past.
“Whether we will or won’t, I can’t say at this point”, he told his hosts. He complimented the play of the young quarterbacks, saying, “to be able to come through like they had at that point, they’re giving us difficult decisions to make, which is a very pleasant dilemma”.
The options, pretty much, break down this way. You know Ben Roethlisberger and Rudolph are going to be there. Do you keep both Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs no matter what? Do you keep both if you don’t get quality trade value for either? Do you ride with the veteran backup or the young athletic prospect? Or do you let the trade market make the decision for you?
The Steelers are not in a rush to make a decision, quite unlike their draft approach. They know that they have until 4PM to make their final decisions. In the meantime, Colbert said that they are getting in contact with all the other teams in the league and feeling our their level of interest in making a deal.
“We contact everybody at this point”, he said; “everybody’s kind of going through the same thing”. He expects that about half the league will be carrying three quarterbacks, or would like to, and we have already seen that there is a market for the backup quarterback position.
“Let’s not make a decision until we have to”, Colbert said. “We’ll make sure that we go through all the data and make sure we have all the context and try to make the best decision for the Steelers that we can make”.
“It will probably go down to the wire”.