Steelers third-string QB Hopeful Troy Smith was released Monday, suggesting the team is looking for more substance than bravado in their 53-man roster.
It wasn't long ago at mini camp Smith was saying how an illness was the only reason he failed to beat out QB Joe Flacco for the Ravens job, and expressing his frustration over not being drafted or otherwise given an opportunity by the Cleveland Browns.
Smith is the only rookie quarterback to defeat a Dick Lebeau-led Steelers defense since his return to the team in 2004.
His release this early into the active piece of the offseason workout schedule can really only suggest the team wanted to bring in four quarterbacks to camp, and those four will be starter Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch and second-year man Jerrod Johnson.
Johnson could give incumbent Charlie Batch a run for his money for the team's third QB, while Roethlisberger and Leftwich are set for the No. 1 and No. 2 spots.
Smith has a fair amount of professional experience, and the early release could be done out of respect for him; letting him go now gives him a chance to catch on somewhere else with enough time to learn the offensive system of that team.
Smith signed a future's contract with the team this offseason. He did not appear in a pre or regular season game with the Steelers.