Colbert On Future Of QB Position: ‘Sooner Or Later We Will Have To Address That’


Will the Pittsburgh Steelers wind up drafting a quarterback this year? It’s really hard to say at this point and especially based on what general manager Kevin Colbert said Thursday during his annual talk with the local media ahead of the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

“Landry Jones is a free agent, and I’d love to have Landry stay in the mix,” Colbert said, according to Bob Labriola of steelers.com. “But right now we have two quarterbacks under contract. Will we add a young one, in some form or fashion? Absolutely. When? It’s hard to say. We have to balance that (quarterback) class against other positions (in this draft), but sooner or later, we will have to address that.

“Ideally, the organizations that have been successful through eras have had the next guy in place. San Francisco went from Joe Montana to Steve Young. Green Bay went from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. If you want to be a continuously a successful organization, you should have a quarterback succession plan in place.”

Colbert indicated Thursday that he expects quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to return for the 2017 season even though he said immediately after the 2016 season ended that he would need to think about his future.

“I’m working under the assumption that until he says he’s retired officially, then he’s not. If he decides to (retire), then we’ll act accordingly, but in the meantime we’re not going to get out of sorts with potential retirements,” Colbert said of Roethlisberger, according to Labriola.


By the sound of things, the Steelers might not ultimately draft a quarterback this year and the chances of that happening might lower some should the team wind up re-signing Landry Jones, who Colbert indicated on Thursday might be allowed to test free agency come the start of the 2017 league year on March 9.

Even if the Steelers do wind up drafting a quarterback this year, it’s hard to imagine the player selected would have a great shot at succeeding Roethlisberger when he finally does retire. When you look at the 2017 quarterback draft class as a whole, it’s not very impressive and thus the Steelers would probably be wise to only spend a late-round selection on the position if they decide to select one at all.

One would think we’ll have a better sense of what the Steelers 2017 quarterback depth chart will look like ahead of the draft taking place as by then the team will have either re-signed Jones or quite possibly have signed another veteran free agent signal caller to replace him to compete against Zach Mettenberger for the backup job during training camp.

In short, be careful with your future Steelers mock drafts when it comes to predicting a quarterback being taken within the first four rounds.

  • T3xassteelers

    Man that’s weird for me to see. It’s going to be a weird and sad day when he goes as he’s the only QB I’ve known since I’ve known what football was.

  • Steelers12

    im 25 and i remeber Brister, Stewart, O’Donnell, Graham and Maddox. How old are you?

  • Steelers12

    Glad to see we will skip QB in draft this year

  • Aaron Dickerson

    Lucky you…. Mark the mustache Malone was my first.

  • John

    Sounds like they are NOT drafting a QB this year and will play it by ear generally. There have to be better years for QB talent. And recycling some else’s QB for a season or two with our playmakers is not criminal, if need be. Two or three years from now if we need to play a Tyrod Taylor for one year while we wait for Ben’s successor, so be it.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Can you conclude that from his statement? I hope we do as this is a weak draft class for QB. I think next year is the time to strike.

  • Biggie

    The future at QB is definitely not on the team other than the short term future with Ben. Jones looks like he has hit his ceiling, which isn’t very high, and actually at times appears to regress. He is likely to be little more than a journeyman clipboard holder for next few years for someone, hopefully not us for much longer. Mettenberger has shown nothing so far in his career so maybe stays as #3 to see if he can develop at all. Would like to address the future within next two years, next year appears to be a better class than this year. I don’t think there is a true first year starter out of this years class though we wouldn’t need that but there are to many teams needing a QB right now so there will be a lot of early drafting of QBs, possibly 4 by end of Round 1 (Watson, Trubisky, Kizer and Mahomes). Two could go in top 10 and I don’t believe the talent is there to take a QB before after top 10. Everyone of these guys have issues, whether mechanical in nature or that they were playing within a system that doesn’t produce much confidence of quick or any adjustment to the pro game. One or two may develop eventually into a solid starter but being they will go to early we’d have to reach this year. Maybe there will be a mid round guy to look at but not sure at this point. Next year could be a very solid group starting with Rosen, Allen, Donald, Mayfield, Rudolph, Browne and Barrett.

  • T3xassteelers

    I’m 21. Bens rookie season (super bowl 05) was as far back as I remember!!

  • T3xassteelers

    Ha, I just checked his stats… not pretty 😂

  • StolenUpVotes

    Graham………yikes

  • Jeff Papiernik

    We could continue the tradition of drafting an Oklahoma QB by taking Mayfield. I like his competitiveness.

  • Steelers12

    good memories

  • Steelers12

    LOL i shed many tears when he was QB

  • Steelers12

    i mean i could drafting a Evans out of VTECH in the 6th or 7th to see what you can develop

  • John

    BTW I keep hearing that Jones is better than 80 percent of back up QBs. Strongly doubt that. Without even trying, I would say he is the worst backup in the division as I would take McCown or Kessler, McCarron and Mallet over him. Also you have Romo in Dallas, Chase Daniel who the Eagles are paying big money to, Hoyer or Barkley with Bears, Keenum now that Goff is starting, plus the former Eagles QB that is backing up in KC. There are others as well including Garropolo.

  • nikgreene

    Why isn’t the picture for the article the one of Ben making that weird scrunchy face? Does anyone else know what I’m talking about?

  • Steve

    All of the QB’s you mentioned stunk. We need to groom a QB before Ben leaves.

  • Steve

    The throwing Samowen.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I guess I’ll be the one smiling and laughing… when Big Ben takes the field in 2020 as the starting QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  • nikgreene

    what about Tomczak? .. ugh

  • RickM

    I didn’t expect Kevin to reveal their QB succession plan and he didn’t. My guess is that any of 2017, 2018 and 2019 remain possible. It’s just a question of when they find someone they really like, and if he’s available.

  • Steelers12

    yeah but there none in this draft to groom

  • Steve

    Many times it is not the Qb as a person, but the system they come into. Have been saying for 3 years, the Steelers need to draft a QB and plp called me crazy. After what Ben said, the light bulb has come on and plp are starting to panic.

  • Steelers12

    oh God dont remind me

  • Steelers12

    if what you saying were true then why dont you believe in Jones?

  • Steve

    When O’Donald threw the interception in the end zone, he deserved to be fired. But Neil quit and went on to the Jets.

  • Steve

    Jones has been given many chances and did not come through. What I am saying above, is if you take a QB and put him in a crappy system, such as the Brownies, he’s doomed to fail. Put that same QB behind Brady and he will look much different.

  • Even if Landry is resigned, I think the Steelers will at least consider a QB in this years draft and pull the trigger if one falls to them that they like. At that point, the draftee would compete with Mettenberger for 3rd string. The reviews on Mettenberger haven’t been great at all, so if they feel like he’s not worth keeping around, it would make sense to draft a QB they like so they can start grooming him now. If they don’t draft one this year, I’d almost be willing to bet they absolutely will next year. If by some miracle Mahomes is available in round two, I’d love it if they went ahead and rolled the dice on him.

  • Steve

    You hear a lie. Their mind was crossed and didn’t do their homework very well.

  • PB1015

    Brister last played in 92, lol, how could you possibly remember him? I can go back as far as O’Donnell.

  • If you are 25 and actually remember Brister playing that’s pretty remarkable. I’m almost 31 and Neil O’Donnell is the first QB I remember watching. Along with Byron Bam Morris, Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake, Yancey Thigpen, Lloyd and Green, etc..

  • PB1015

    I’m 30, and started following the Steelers in 94. I remember watching all those guys. My favorite player from then was Kirkland.

  • Mark

    I remember the 80s – 94s, we all know we will not be competitive if we do not draft a top flight QB. Landry Jones is not that QB. Landry Jones is the equivalent of Jarvis Jones and why rush to resign him. Mahomes II is the QB I would like to see us draft along with CB and OLB.

  • OMG, KIRKLAND!! YES!! #99 was a BEAST! Loved watching him play too. I have to say my favorite was Woodson, he was just so exciting. I was super upset when he left. He was the first jersey I ever had

  • Kenneth Wilt

    If you resign Landry or sign a vet to be #2, I still believe you only go UDFA for the QB position this year.

  • Aaron Dickerson

    I’m 39… mid 80’s were rough on Steelers fans. Matter of fact it was not cool growing up in Pittsburgh to be a Steelers fan, I’m ashamed to say it now but I was obsessed with the eagles and giants. It wasn’t till I was older that I started to gain an appreciation of the orginizations tradition and history thanks to older family members. It also didn’t hurt that the D started kicking butt again.

  • Steve

    Ben replaced Brister and never looked back.

  • Steve

    Kirkland was good but didn’t last long. Lloyd and Greene were book ends to go after QB’s.

  • Steve

    Troy was right up there with Woodson. They both were students of the game and excelled at their craft.

  • Spencer Krick

    I think over the next couple years you keep it in the back of your mind. If there’s a guy you really want and he’s available, take him. You’re not going to win the superbowl without a Franchise QB nowadays.

  • unfurious

    I remember Bradshaw, Harris, Swann, Stallworth…I was between 5 and 8 for most of that. I didn’t realize that could happen. Then, piece by piece, my football world came crumbling down. Louis Lipps gave me hope again but Mark Malone and Cliff Stoudt took it away again. Something I learned in the 80’s is have your next QB ready and be ready for your next QB.

  • Steelers12

    i swear Jerry Jones paid O’Donald

  • Steelers12

    maybe i was stretching on Brister but you get my draft i went through some hard times wearing my Steelers garb to grammar school

  • Steelers12

    dont forget one my personal favorites LeVon Kirkland the 300lb Linebacker

  • Steve

    It was the Bookies and Neil made a killen.

  • PaeperCup

    Odonnel was about when I started being interested in football. Mike Tomczak was another.

    Some rough ones, but we always were in the mix still. I think Leveon is going to be the foundation of the team in the not so far future…that will help us during our search for Ben’s replacement.

  • PaeperCup

    I always thought Kirkland was a behemoth, I was surprised to find out he was only 6’1″. Thanks google for ruining my childhood. Built like a tree trunk though.

  • Steelers12

    dont feel alone as a kid i thought pro wrestler Scott Steiner was big but when i met him he came to middle of my chest even though im 6’6 i was surprised at how short he was

  • Steelers12

    yeah Bell will keep us afloat

  • T3xassteelers

    Seems like life’s ago hahah

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    My 2 cents about the qb situation is if there’s no one that can be drafted to succeed Ben and most likely be the 3rd qb then why even bother waisting a draft pick especially if it’s not a good draft class for that position maybe better to roll with what you have already then address it another season

  • steelmann58

    dont waste any picks on qbs this year next year will be the draft to go for it

  • Rocksolid20

    Ben replaced Maddox

  • Rocksolid20

    I started following the Steelers in 74 , been there through the good and the bad .

  • Dave Warren

    Ben and Rooneys are close friends with Jim Kelley. Don’t be surprised if we pick the nephew as a rehab project. could be a steal if the kid can turn things around.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Damn, you make me feel old!

  • Ryan Alderman

    Wait, I thought Ben replaced Malone.

  • dany

    Same here. I watched O’Donell and Stewart play but I barely paid attention/understood what football was really. It will be hard

  • Steelers12

    Its a blessing to get old

  • Grant Russell

    o’donald threw two interceptions to the same guy to lose that super bowl game to the f…ing cowboys, and that guy signed a huge contract with the raiders the following year and promptly fell off the face of the earth
    Larry Brown i think his name was, what a joke, as Rothlisberger threw an untimely interception against the packers which probably cost us the superbowl as well

  • Steelers12

    Yes Brown did fall off quickly. And i think mendenhalls fumble was more costly

  • LucasY59

    if Chad Kelly is still around at the comp pick or the 7th maybe, but he is injured plus he has other issues so I wouldnt be happy if they used a earlier pick

  • LucasY59

    its pretty simple, if they like the player and he’s available when they think its worth the pick they will pick a QB, they dont need to force it

  • The Truth

    You may have seen them in replays of games and highlight videos, but did you see them all play while they were still active in the NFL? That is what T3 is referring to. I remember Bobby Layne, but I never saw him actually play.

  • LucasY59

    since its the Steelers and not the Browns im not too worried, It did take a long time from Bradshaw to Ben, but I think they should be competitive for awhile after Roethlisberger retires unless they blow up the whole roster and start over

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I agree with both you and RickM. Instead of removing QBs from the draft board, like they have in the past, they should take one if he is the best player on their board in any round, but they shouldn’t force it. I certainly think they should be scouting QBs much harder than they may have the past several years.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Yep, fumble was the killer.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I guess we can both remember when Terry was a “bust” and couldn’t spell cat when spotted the c and the t.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Captain obvious is really getting around today lol.

  • Brian Miller

    Amen…I believe that too. Or he got 1/2 of Larry Brown’s new contract with the Raiders…

  • SilverSteel

    Like Chuck Noll said though: If your thinking about retirement in this game – your retired. (paraphrase) so – not too confident for 2020 that he will be elite anymore if he does stay. In fact this year I could see the start of the end for the first time which is a bummer. He is not the same Ben we are used to. He had his moments, but not consistently.

  • Steve

    Ben replaced Maddox, it was Brister who replaced Malone.

  • Steve

    Which one?

  • Steve

    Steeler did go through some QB’s between Bradshaw and Ben.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    1) Teams that likely have their franchise QB in place for the next 3+ years:

    Patriots, Dolphins, Ravens, Bengals, Titans, Colts, Raiders, Chargers, Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, Eagles, Packers, Lions, Falcons, Bucs, Panthers, Seahawks, Rams.

    2) Teams that might be looking to acquire a new franchise QB next year:

    Steelers, Jags, Chiefs, Vikings, Saints, Cardinals

    3) Teams that appear to need a new franchise QB this year:

    Bills, Jets, Browns, Texans, Broncos, Bears, 49ers

    We can debate some of the specifics about who falls into which categories but there are roughly 7 teams that are really looking to bring in a new quarterback THIS year (either draft/trade/free agent).

    One of them will probably trade for Garoppolo. One of them will probably sign Romo. And there are 4 QB’s in this year’s draft who will probably get selected in the 1st or 2nd rounds. And usually teams give those guys a couple of years to develop before blowing another high pick on another QB.

    My point is, next year, there will probably be less teams seeking to spend a high pick on a QB, in a draft with better depth at QB. So we may find ourselves in an Aaron Rodgers type draft situation, where we may only have to trade up into the teens or early 20’s (instead of the top 3 picks) to land our future QB.

  • Tim Goetz

    You don’t remember brister if you are 25

  • Tim Goetz

    You were born the same year he played his last for steelers, which means you probably don’t remember O’Donnell either. Unless you were watching film in the womb

  • Iulo

    you are right!
    I’m near 40 and Brister is the first memory of a QB in PIt uniform…
    still remember I made a drawing of him at school 😀

  • Nolrog

    >>> Will the Pittsburgh Steelers wind up drafting a quarterback this year?I think that’s a 2-part question. Will they draft a QB? Possibly. Will they draft Ben’s replacement? No. Considering that they are on a bit of an upswing, and could contend and beat 14 of the other 15 teams in the AFC, looking at Ben’s replacement now doesn’t make sense. Those picks need to be used to close the gap with the Patriots so we can have a chance of beating them in the future.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Hahaha, yeah, I know.

  • Ryan Alderman

    I did, too, if that makes you feel better. Than half of Pittsburgh either moved south or we sure have a lot of bandwagon fans as there are “Steeler” fans everywhere!

  • Durango Snowman

    The one after Suggs broke his nose

  • Ryan Alderman

    Depends on who you ask I reckon. I’m 40 as of last month, hopefully got a few more good seasons left in me. 🙂

  • Steelers12

    I said i stretched it on brister but my dad is an avid Steelers fan n use to record every Steelers game n when bored i use to watch so i feel like i watched him growing up

  • Steelers12

    Lol what a horrible contract

  • Steelers12

    I saw all live except brister, i saw him via dads old vcr tapes. I should of clarified that

  • Steelers12

    Yeah gear for a few more SB runs

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Marino .. If only…

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Don’t waste the pick!!!
    If you are not in it to draft BBs successor then don’t bother – just bring back L Jones and draft BBs successor next year.
    Another 5th or 6th rounder won’t do much for us compare d to LJ at this point.

  • PB1015

    We have had the benefit of watching the Steelers through mostly good years! But damn, there were some bad QB’s on that list. Jim Miller, Mike Tomczak, and Kent Graham were the worst.

  • John Pennington

    The steelers always knew this day was coming and did nothing about it always waiting for the last minute so here we are with no qb to take over for Ben.Jones cant lead this team to win the division and when he came in when Ben got hurt he couldnt win the games they needed and he has been in the system for four years wishing on a star he could do the job well those days are over the steelers have no choice to get serious about bring in a qb to train to take over for Ben and they are on the clock.Cant keep betting on Ben being there for another 2 to 3 years you never know so they better do their work bring in more qbs to look at and maybe they can find someone worthy to keep around.Qb position has to be important.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Bradshaw.

  • Jim Foles

    The Penguin.

  • Jim Foles

    A QB that is a master of reading a defense with a decent arm is all Leveon and the Steelers need.