Mike Tomlin has been publicly campaigning for a mobile quarterback for the entire seasons and the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger on Thursday, he may get his wish.
It was always thought that the Steelers would try to get someone mobile at the quarterback position within the organization. Right now, the only guy that remotely fits that model is Josh Dobbs.
But, there are different definitions of mobility. The type of mobility the Steelers want in their next quarterback may not be a Lamar Jackson type. Rather, it may be someone who can run when needed but extends plays with their legs. President Art Rooney II noted the Steelers will look for mobility in their next quarterback, but it might be a specific type of mobility.
“I think you have to take advantage of any opportunity you have to get the best quarterback you can find,” Rooney said. “You don’t always have the luxury of saying ‘I want A, B, and C’. You can’t go to the grocery store and order a quarterback. We’ll evaluate all the options we have. Certainly, mobile quarterbacks are the wave of the future. Having mobility at that position is something that is desirable. The other thing that is desirable is someone that can read a defense and complete a pass downfield.”
That type of mobility that would be desirable is something that is different than just a guy who can run and create things in the open field. Rooney notes they are not looking for a pure runner, but rather just someone that can create things out of structure as they stand.
“You start with somebody that can buy some time is very desirable,” Rooney said. “In terms of having a quarterback that is consistently a threat to be a part of your rushing attack, I’m not sure that’s something I want to rely on. I’m not sure that’s something you can rely on….I think having some ability is important. However, I think a quarterback where their biggest threat is running is not what we are looking for.”
That should potentially cross some more names like Malik Willis off the list. It may lend itself more to a Sam Howell, Kenny Pickett, and Desmond Ridder type of quarterback. The Steelers will have a decision to make, and it will not be an easy one.