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John Rhys Plumlee Explains Why He Signed with Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback John Rhys Plumlee explains why he signed with the team out of UCF as an undrafted free agent.

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Pittsburgh Steelers QB John Rhys Plumlee
Pittsburgh Steelers QB John Rhys Plumlee at Steelers rookie minicamp, May 11, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Coming out of UCF, new Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback John Rhys Plumlee had thoughts that he might have to switch to wide receiver to stick in the NFL. In fact, that might still be true. But Plumlee got an opportunity in the NFL that promised he would have a chance to prove himself at quarterback first. Where? That was Pittsburgh. Plumlee attended the East-West Shrine Bowl and worked exclusively as a quarterback at the event, but it was not good enough to get him drafted.

So, Plumlee looked for the next best thing — a spot that would end up getting him in the door as a quarterback. When the Steelers did that, Plumlee was pumped to head to Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB John Rhys Plumlee

Pittsburgh Steelers QB John Rhys Plumlee at Steelers rookie minicamp, May 11, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“I did have other places calling me, but they wanted me to do different things, be in the quarterback room, and all of that stuff,” Plumlee said. “But Pittsburgh believes in me as a quarterback, and that’s part of the reason why I am here.”

At one point in his college career, Plumlee did switch to wide receiver before switching back to quarterback. He has the measurables to play as a receiver. At 5-foot-11, Plumlee ran a 4.51 40-yard dash with a 36.5-inch vertical on top of that. The athleticism plays across the field, but Plumlee wants to show he can shine at quarterback before trying to move to another spot.

The Steelers have zero players under contract at the quarterback position in the past 2024. But Plumlee might be a young player they like who could develop into something on the practice squad. Pittsburgh often shies away from having a quarterback ready-made on the practice squad, but it’s not hard to envision the team adding Plumlee to the practice squad as a developmental prospect for the future, whether that be at quarterback or somewhere else on the offensive side of the football.