2023 Steelers Futures Report – OLB Quincy Roche

As we’ve done in previous years, we’re looking at Pittsburgh Steelers under futures contracts for the 2023 offseason. A lot of players spent most if not the entire year on the practice squad, and we look at what we can expect from them during training camp (hopefully) into the regular season.

Quincy Roche/OLB MIAMI (FL) – 6025, 245

Roche has circled his way back to the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the most notable and experienced players signed to a futures contract after Pittsburgh’s season ended. It came a bit later in the process with Roche, then a Giant, going through the playoffs with New York. They were eliminated in the Divisional Round on January 21st and three days later, the Steelers brought him back.

A Temple Tough kid who transferred to Miami his final year, his sack production waned but his overall numbers were still solid — 13 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles. Overall, his college production popped with 54 tackles for a loss, 30.5 sacks, and eight forced fumbles. Big playmaking numbers.

But Roche lacked great size with below average testing, a 4.69 40, 1.69 ten split, 32.5 inch vertical, and 7.20 three-cone. Not awful numbers but far from great and he tumbled in the draft because of it. On Day Three of the 2021 NFL Draft, he fell into the Steelers’ laps, the sixth round, 216th overall pick, and it felt like a great value pick at the time. Roche went through his first camp with the team, a relatively quiet one, and Jamir Jones, plucked by the Steelers after watching him at Notre Dame’s Pro Day, made noise as a special teamer. Here’s what we wrote about Roche after his first summer with the team.

“Reps were a bit hard to come by running third-team ROLB all of camp. His game was hot and cold but his ability to rip through contact and bend the edge was by far the most impressive thing I saw. He’s a good technician and while he lacks great burst, size, and power, he’s a bendy pass rusher who works and fights hard to the QB. We have him down for four pressures on 36 rushes, 11.1%, with three of them coming in the Hall of Fame opener against Dallas.

Still learning how to consistently play on his feet and make the full-time transition to OLB and failing to stand out in a big way on special teams, he seems like good practice squad fodder.”

Jones made the roster over Roche and the Steelers tried to stash him on the practice. Normally the move works. Not this time. The New York Giants claimed him off waivers and Pittsburgh’s calculation misfired. Roche logged over 400 snaps his rookie season, recording 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble across 14 games. But a coaching change and draft picks, highlighted by Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, saw Roche’s role reduce in 2022. He didn’t make the initial 53 and struggled to consistently get a hat. He appeared in only three games, playing just six defensive snaps, seeing a bit more time on special teams. It’s no surprise Roche didn’t return to New York on a futures deal and that he came back to Pittsburgh, the team that didn’t want him to get away.

With EDGE depth still pretty thin, Roche has an opportunity to do what he couldn’t in 2021 — make the team. Pittsburgh’s still likely to add to the position during the offseason, be it free agency or the draft. For Roche, the lower level the signing and the later the pick, the better for him.

This year could be a rematch. Roche and Jones battling for one spot. Jones has been a multi-phase special teamer though not a great one and his spot isn’t secure. Still, Roche will have to show more than he did on special teams his first lap around the track if he wants to stick this time.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!