While the Pittsburgh Steelers remain lacking in depth in some areas, they can be said to have among the most complete starting lineups in the NFL right now, provided that health doesn’t prove to be an issue. Considering the fact that the health question includes their franchise quarterback coming off of elbow surgery on his throw arm, that isn’t an insignificant component.
That’s why, according to Brooke Pryor, one of the team’s two big offseason goals this year is to develop the depth on the quarterback depth chart to mitigate the potential loss of Ben Roethlisberger for a second season.
To that end, the ESPN writer notes that the Steelers have taken the significant step of actually hiring a quarterbacks coach dedicated to the position. For the past two years, Randy Fichtner has held the dual responsibilities of quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator since being promoted to the latter position.
Canada comes to the team with a great deal of experience, though all of it comes at the college level. In many posts, he has served as both quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. In his last post, at Maryland, he even functioned as interim head coach.
Most of the 2019 season was quarterbacked by a combination of Mason Rudolph, a third-round pick in 2018, and Devlin Hodges, who was a college free agent last year out of Samford. The former started eight games, the latter six, and between the two of them, posted a record of 8-6. Each of them, however, had been benched in favor of the other.
The other significant goal for the Steelers this offseason, according to Pryor, is adding playmakers to the offense, and again, this is an area that the team has already been able to begin addressing, doing so with the signing of tight end Eric Ebron in free agency. He has big-play ability and has been productive in the red zone putting points up on the board in recent years.
Work is not done in either of these areas, however. While a number of national writers continue to mock a quarterback to the Steelers in Day Two of the draft, I still don’t expect this to happen, but it’s obvious that they need to do more to get Rudolph and Hodges up to a higher level of in-game performance.
Wide receiver is also a very likely target in the draft, even though they already have JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Diontae Johnson, all of whom were drafted between picks 60 and 66 over the course of the past three drafts. The Steelers could use their highest pick, 49th overall, on the position, or they could wait on it, but with the depth at the position, there’s a good chance they can find a contributor.