In Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins we trust.
This has been the company line since the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger left the Pittsburgh Steelers in a relative no-man’s land at quarterback.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine there are starting-caliber quarterbacks available in the 2022 NFL Draft. But he also said the Steelers aren’t fretting the potential reality of playing the veterans on the roster.
Colbert witnessed multiple games played by Field Level Media’s top-ranked quarterback in the draft, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett. The team also spent time at the Senior Bowl with Liberty quarterback Malik Willis.
There are also veteran free agents who could be available, or trade targets at the position, whom the Steelers are vetting.
“We won’t narrow it to any one place, never have, never will,” Colbert said Tuesday in Indianapolis. “Quarterback is obviously a huge position in any given season, especially this season with our Hall of Fame quarterback calling it a career. Is it different this year? Yes. Is it going to change how we approach things? No. We have two vets in Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins who have started NFL games … and they’ve won games. We think we have two capable NFL quarterbacks. How we’ll add to that I can’t say.”
Beyond the quarterback position, a number of roster-build scenarios could play out for Pittsburgh, depending on the results of free agency. One of the team’s priorities has been to engage JuJu Smith-Schuster, who returned to the team in 2021 on a one-year deal.
“JuJu did a great comeback from the shoulder injury that he suffered,” Colbert said. “Much to our surprise, he was available to us late in the season as well as the playoff game. We commend him for doing that and putting his free agent thoughts aside and helping us win a playoff game. We take that into account. JuJu has been a great player for us.”
Colbert said he didn’t pause before endorsing the addition of Brian Flores to the coaching staff. Flores has a pending lawsuit against the NFL. Colbert said the litigation wasn’t a factor, but Flores’ resume was.
“Brian Flores has been a successful NFL head coach and defensive coordinator, and I was excited to have him,” he said. “As I mentioned to coach Flores when he first came into the office, I really like his background because he started out on the personnel (side).”
–Field Level Media