Post Draft State Of The Steelers Quarterbacks

It is time to wrap up the offense today by taking a look at the quarterback position post draft. There are not any surprises to be found here on the Steelers depth chart, so let this serve as more of a recap of where the main three are as they head toward training camp. If you have missed any of the previous positional post draft looks at the roster you can read them at the links provided here: offensive line, defensive line, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends & fullbacks.

Ben Roethlisberger – Roethlisberger says that he is still having minor problems with the ankle he injured against the Cleveland Browns last season as he claims that it is still not fully healed. He has plenty of time still to get it ready by the start of training camp and in the mean time he will focus on learning the new offense and terminology being put into place by new offensive coordinator Todd Haley and help the others on offense learn it is well. The Steelers unquestioned leader received a few gifts during the 2012 NFL draft in the form of David DeCastro, Mike Adams, Chris Rainey and Toney Clemons so he has to be excited about that. DeCastro will be a week one starter and Rainey could possibly contribute sooner than later and give Roethlisberger yet another weapon on offense. Team president Art Rooney II stated after the 2011 season that Roethlisberger needs to tweak his game a bit in an effort to not take as many hits as he has in years past, but you can bet that Roethlisberger will still on occasion do what he does best, and that is to extend plays at times. The Steelers chances of adding a seventh Lombardi Trophy to the case this year all depend on the play of Roethlisberger and he certainly has the ability to get it done with the weapons that he is surrounded by. You can expect that he will have a few “come to Jesus” type moments on the sideline this season with Haley, but that should be expected. How he handles those moments will show his level maturity and his ability to adapt heading into the golden years of his career. He remains one of the top quarterbacks in the league right now even if he needs help putting a shoe on a dinged up foot supported by a bad ankle.

Byron Leftwich – Leftwich was re-signed to a one-year deal just prior to the draft starting. There were rumors that former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians had interest in bringing him to the Indianapolis Colts to help mentor Andrew Luck, but that never came to fruition. The biggest challenge Leftwich has on his plate this season is to show that he can survive the preseason without getting injured. He broke his arm last year during the preseason against the Atlanta Falcons and in 2010 he suffered a knee injury in the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers that kept him sidelined for several weeks. The last regular season snap that Leftwich has taken came against the Browns in the week 17 season finale, so he certainly could use some preseason action out of training camp to knock off the rust. Hopefully he never has to see the field in 2012 outside of mop up duty, but he can\’t even do that if he can\’t keep himself in one piece prior to the season beginning. Although it is not a given, he should be able to beat out Charlie Batch for the backup job behind Roethlisberger.

Charlie Batch – Like Leftwich, Batch was also brought back on a one-year deal and he figures to serve as the third string quarterback this year assuming Leftwich stays healthy. Batch started the week 16 game last season against the St. Louis Rams and he played well in that game. He showed he still has a little elusiveness in the pocket as well in that lone start as he ducked under what seemed to be two certain sacks in that game. Father Time has long caught up with his arm, but Batch is as experienced as they come in regard to reading defenses and managing the offense. He generally has made good decisions with the football over the last few seasons in his limited playing time. The biggest role Batch could play in 2012 is being a buffer of sorts between Haley and Roethlisberger, as there are sure to be a few heated moments on the sideline that will need buffering. Batch is a consummate professional, and while the hope is that he never has to take a snap in 2012, the Steelers could do worse for an emergency third string quarterback.

Troy Smith – The former Heisman Trophy winner was signed to a futures contract this past offseason and will attempt to beat out Batch for the number three spot on the depth chart. Smith has a career 51.7 completion ratio and has made just 8 starts since being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2007. He was not on an NFL roster last season and saw limited action in the United Football League with the Omaha Nighthawks instead. His best shot at making the 53 man roster would be if an injury happened above him on the depth chart. He might make it to training camp in Latrobe, but he likely will not be there to see the end of it.

Jerrod Johnson – Like Smith, Johnson too was signed to a futures contract this past offseason. Although there have been reports that he has improved both his arm strength and accuracy since going undrafted last year out of Texas A&M, there simply will not be enough snap to go around for him should he make it training camp. He is a long shot at best to make it through the early roster cut-downs and an even longer shot to warrant a spot as a developmental quarterback on the Steelers practice squad.

Post Draft Prediction 53 Man Roster Quarterbacks

Ben Roethlisberger
Byron Leftwich
Charlie Batch

  • Paul

    Big dropoff after Ben, they will need to drft a Qb soon

  • stan

    If its purely a football and salary cap decision, there’s no reason to keep Batch over Troy Smith. Smith actually has a better career passer rating. He’s also younger and cheaper and a threat with his legs.

    If they keep Batch, its purely out of loyalty and whatever it is he brings to the meeting room.

  • SteelersDepot

    Batch only cost 75k more in cap space and has much more experience than Smith does. Smith has no future as a clip board holder.

  • Daveb1952

    Just a thought here, Smith could be useful running a scout team in prep for games vs Vick, Newton to name a couple. For all intensive purposes, Batch, if not on the 53, is just a short drive out the parkway east if we do need him.

  • Button_guy

    Should have never let Dixon go.

  • SteelersDepot

    They didn’t let Dixon go. He wanted out. Besides, Dixon has received nearly no attention in free agency this offseason and with good reason. Even the Ravens chose to sign Curtis Painter over Dixon. What does that say about Dixon?

  • Button_guy

    I just don’t understand how a QB that nearly beat the Ravens (Albeit, with an awesome team) a few years ago can receive such little interest. If a team gave him a chance, I’d bet money he’d do very well.

  • PoKey21

    Vick, Newton, RG3, Freeman, are all in the NFC. No need for the Steelers to keep a player on the practice squad for fear of teams we might play once every few years. That would be senseless.

  • PoKey21

    I didnt even want it to come down to Smith or Batch. I wish we could of used 1 of the 7th round picks on a player like Kellen Moore, Chandler Harnish, Dan Persa, or GJ Kinne give them a year at 3rd string. If they dont prove anything in a year then send them packing and start again. Ben cant play forever.

  • Probably because his sole accomplishment is “NEARLY beat the Ravens”. That’s it.

    That said, he was in the absolute wrong offense for him under BA.

  • Jprankster2005

    I’d like to see Smith beat out Batch or Leftwich…… Leftwich has earned alot of Free money, If he get’s injured again they need to just send him on a one way plane ticket wherever he wants to go…… We gotta get some youth in the backup….. Batch should of retired……. How about bringing in someone like McNabb as backup instead of these guys….. I don’t see what they like in Batch and Leftwich, I sure hope this is the last yr. of both of these guys….. And I hope they don’t keep resinging Leftwich til he’s 40 like they have kept batch over the last 10 yrs………

  • Jprankster2005

    He only counts 75 more in cap space but he get’s paid 225,000 more I think…..

  • Jprankster2005

    Never liked Dixon and didn’t think they should of kept him last yr…… He wants to be a backup haha……He will probably only get a job when someone get’s hurt and then be the 3rd stringer

  • SteelersDepot

    What does that have to do with ANYTHING? Cap space is only thing that matters.

  • John A Stewart