The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Who is the best quarterback in the AFC North?
Note: for simplicity’s sake, I’m just going to use images of Steelers for the cover photos of these articles. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m arguing they’re the best.
We’ve still got more time to kill before the draft is here, so I thought over the course of the next week and a half or so we could take a look at the players in the AFC North, going by position, and taking an informal poll to see what the community thinks of each.
As is pretty much always the case in such position-by-position discussions, we’ll start with the quarterback position. I do think this will be somewhat interesting. Who is the best quarterback in the AFC North heading into the 2020 season?
Joe Burrow is not even in the league yet and obviously hasn’t played a down. Baker Mayfield is not going to get any first-place votes. So it comes down to the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, who is coming off of an elbow injury, and the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, who was the league MVP last year and threw more touchdown passes than Roethlisberger ever did in a single season. Will this be a landslide in favor of Jackson, even on a Steelers site?
The best argument against Jackson is that, while it wouldn’t be accurate to call him a ‘system’ player, the Ravens did build an offense around him that allows him to be a playmaker, and a lot of that is on the ground. Baltimore had almost as many rushing yards as passing yards last season. Jackson still has room for improvement as a passer and decision-maker.