Art Rooney II: You can’t go to the grocery store and order a quarterback

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
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The Steelers’ search for Ben Roethlisberger‘s replacement has begun. They know what they want if not yet who they want.

They want a young Roethlisberger, a quarterback mobile enough to extend plays but not a “running” quarterback.

“Having a quarterback who is consistently a threat to be a part of your rushing attack, I am not sure that is something I want to rely on game-in, game-out, season-in, season-out,” Rooney said, via Mark Kaboly of “Having some of that ability is important, but the days of having quarterbacks whose biggest threat is running are probably not what we are looking for.”

Coach Mike Tomlin, though, repeatedly has pointed to a quarterback’s mobility as being important. That doesn’t bode well for backup Mason Rudolph‘s chances of winning the job, with third-stringer Dwayne Haskins‘ traits perhaps being closer to the team’s description of what they seek.

“Certainly, the mobile quarterback is the wave of the future, so to speak, and having mobility at that position would be desirable,” Rooney said. “You don’t always get someone who meets every criterion you might want. You have to get the best player, plug him in and put the best players around them and try to put everybody in the best position to be successful.”

It’s been a long time since the Steelers were in this position.

For the first time since taking Roethlisberger 11th overall in 2004, the Steelers are in the market for a franchise quarterback. But it was a long search between Terry Bradshaw and Roethlisberger, with the Steelers starting 13 quarterbacks in between the Hall of Famer and future Hall of Famer with no championships.

Both Rudolph and Haskins have expressed their confidence in being the heir apparent, but Rooney isn’t ruling out anything. The Steelers could draft one, trade for one or sign one, though it does not appear a great quarterback draft.

“You have to take advantage of every opportunity you have to get the best quarterback you can find,” Rooney said. “You don’t always have the luxury of saying you want A, B and C. You can’t go to the grocery store and order a quarterback. We will evaluate all the options that we have. We certainly won’t close any doors. It is still early in the process and there will be a lot of drawers to open and look through. We will be looking at the position like any other position and that’s to put the best roster on the field and the best player at quarterback next year.

“Certainly you start with somebody who can buy some time (because that) is very desirable.”

Roethlisberger was sacked 38 times in 16 games this season.

14 responses to “Art Rooney II: You can’t go to the grocery store and order a quarterback

  1. People will laugh and thumbs down this but I think they should give Blake Bortles a look. He’s big like Ben and played similar coming out of UCF.

  2. I’ve seen plenty of QBs on the Bears over the years that probably should have been working at a grocery store instead

  3. Pocket passers win championships. Running quarterbacks get film highlights on telivision and fawning coverage by the sports media.

  4. theshedmaster says:
    January 28, 2022 at 5:50 pm
    People will laugh and thumbs down this but I think they should give Blake Bortles a look. He’s big like Ben and played similar coming out of UCF.

    I gave it a thumbs up, but the issue with Bortles is he’d really be a placeholder. He’s turning 30 iin 3 months. Not necessarily old for a QB, but I’d think you’d want a younger guy if he’s going to be there long term.

  5. You think Bens grow on trees? Well, they don’t – there is no Ben Tree. You think the world is crawling with Hines’s? Show me that farm…with Hines’s and Troys…sprouting up all over the place, ripe for the plucking…Show me that farm.

  6. The scary thing is the people in charge of finding the next quarterback are the same ones who said they had a first round grade on Mason Rudolph!

  7. The Steelers knew Ben was coming to an end and they simply refused to achknowledge that he wasn’t going to play forever. They had literally 3-4 years to prepare for this. Everyone knows Rudolph is nothing more than a backup and Haskins isn’t good enough to shine shoes at the train station.

  8. The Steelers are going to find out just how terrible their head coach is next year. He rode the coattails of his HoF QB and even then could barely make the playoffs most years. I wonder how long they’ll tolerate four-win seasons with Tomlin before they realize they should have made a change a decade ago. Tomlin’s been mailing it in after winning the Super Bowl. He sure did get a lot of mileage out of that and the team that Cowher left him.

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