Would you believe that, every time somebody connected with the Pittsburgh Steelers organization goes on a media program this offseason, they’re asked for their opinion about the quarterback position and how they should approach it? It doesn’t matter if they’re a player or a coach, or even if they’re still in the league anymore. They’re getting their opinion sought after.
Former Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Shazier was no exception, late last week appearing on the Poni and Mueller radio program on 93.7 The Fan, along with Arthur Moats as host as well. He is pretty clearly in one camp over another. “Me personally, I don’t think we should draft a quarterback”, he told his hosts.
“I think the quarterbacks in this draft are good, but I don’t think these quarterbacks in this draft are like, ‘Hey, let me reach for this guy, let me go out of my way for this guy’”, he explained. “Do you guys feel that the Steelers should trade up and reach for a Kenny Pickett or reach for one of these quarterbacks?”.
He also pointed out, regarding Kenny Pickett, that he’s already going to be 24 years old in June, and the Steelers prefer to draft younger in the first round like they did with him, though they did draft Najee Harris at running back last year at 23. Still, he’d much rather see a veteran if they add a quarterback this offseason, given the options.
“To me personally, I was vouching that we get Aaron Rodgers, but I don’t know what that would look like financially”, he said. “Obviously, all of us love the city of Pittsburgh, but Aaron, would he want a bigger city or would he not? That plays into some people’s decision”. A more realistic option may be Jimmy Garoppolo.
“I wouldn’t be surprised or upset if we get Jimmy”, he said. “Jimmy has been to multiple Super Bowls. Obviously he wasn’t a head guy, but he’s won Super Bowls. But then he also has the experience of winning consistently in the playoffs, and has Super Bowl experience. I think somebody like that could really help out our team, because we have a solid team”.
Indeed, Garoppolo is, ostensibly, a two-time Super Bowl winner, though that was as Tom Brady’s backup in New England. He did reach the Super Bowl as a starter with the San Francisco 49ers in 2019. They reached the NFC Championship Game this season, losing on a field goal in the final minutes—after which Garoppolo threw an interception.
At the end of the day, Garoppolo is 33-14 as a starter in the regular season, and 5-2 in the postseason, with his only losses coming in the Super Bowl and the conference finals. He does have good accuracy, and averages well in yards per attempt. His interception ratio is a tad high. But he does win. He even has 10 fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives in just 63 starts.