At this point in the NFL’s offseason cycle, it’s no secret to anyone just how invested the Pittsburgh Steelers are in finding the next franchise quarterback post-Ben Roethlisberger.
Following the 18-year quarterback’s retirement in January, the Steelers officially started the clock on finding the heir apparent, whether that’s through the NFL Draft, free agency, or via trade. Pittsburgh has kept close tabs on the likes of Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett throughout the draft process, and has been connected to the likes of Las Vegas’s Derek Carr, San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo, and Indianapolis’s Carson Wentz in recent trade rumors.
That need for a quarterback right away in 2022 led to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora listing the Steelers as the “most desperate” team for a QB in his latest rankings, landing ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers post-Tom Brady, the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, to name a few QB-needy teams.
“Pittsburgh doesn’t give off the air of being in a QB pickle, and Mason Rudolph continues to be propped up, but this team can’t afford to waste the blue-chip talent it has on defense,” La Canfora writes. “The Steelers don’t have losing seasons under Mike Tomlin, and they reached the playoffs a year ago with poor quarterback play, but you aren’t winning in January in the AFC with the QBs they have right now. And I doubt either understudy proves to be the heir to Big Ben in the end. Add a legit QB who can push the ball downfield, upgrade the offensive line, and 2022 could be quite interesting while avoiding any long rebuild.”
First of all, the Steelers aren’t “propping up” Mason Rudolph. That rhetoric has to stop from the national media. All Kevin Colbert did on Monday was answer a question truthfully, considering Rudolph would be the Week 1 starter as the Steelers sit now…considering he’s the only quarterback on the roster. Hard to poke holes in that one, folks.
That said, the Steelers are searching high and low for upgrades, which is what any self-respecting organization should be doing. Once again, the Steelers have far more holes on the roster ahead of the 2022 NFL season than just quarterback, so assuming a legitimate starting QB all of a sudden steps into the void left by Roethlisberger and leads the Steelers to the playoffs once again isn’t looking at the bigger picture.
Along with QB, the Steelers must rebuild a poor offensive line and sure up some holes defensively, specifically in the secondary and at inside linebacker, not to mention adding another wide receiver or two into the mix. Quarterback is certainly the most important position in all of sports, so the Steelers should be desperate to find the next guy, but finding that next QB doesn’t solve all of the Steelers’ problems.