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2016 Steelers Roster, 90 in 90 Days: Zach Mettenberger stakes his claim on QB depth chart

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In a new feature at BTSC, we are breaking down the Steelers 90-man roster one player, one position, one day at a time. The conclusion of this feature will be the start of the 2016 season.

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Player: Zach Mettenberger

Position: QB

School: LSU

Overview of the player: The Steelers were forced to make a roster move this week when they placed backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski on IR. Thus far the play of Landry Jones and Bryn Renner has not been the high point of the preseason, to put it lightly, so the front office signed quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Mettenberger was drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 draft by Tennessee where he played ten games between 2014 and 2015.

In those ten games Mettenberger has completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,347 yards as well as 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He is also 0 -10 as a starter. When the signing was announced a certain segment of Steeler nation was very excited and immediately penciled him in ahead of Landry Jones on the depth chart. Mettenberger was among the better choices available at quarterback, but there’s a reason he was cut by the Chargers and available in the first place, hence that zero and ten record as a starter.

Getting excited about a player that, in the best case scenario, never once sees the field in the regular season seems strange to me. The team didn’t dramatically improve to a level where if Roethlisberger is forced to miss time the team won’t have to worry — they will very much. Mettenberger could usurp Jones on the depth chart, but it isn’t going to happen soon. Mettenberger has been a member of the Steelers for about 72 hours, he hasn’t even played a preseason game with the Steelers, while Jones has years of experience with the coaches and playbook in his corner.

The team isn’t just going to slide the new guy ahead of him. Mettenberger has some skills that coaches will like. He was a leader on a couple of very competitive LSU teams. He has a strong arm and can make NFL throws when he has enough time to do so. Unfortunately, his delivery needs work, and like a certain other quarterback Steelers fans know, he tends to hold the ball and take sacks he shouldn’t. Perhaps his decision making and mechanics can be improved upon by Todd Haley.

The Steelers definitely improved their team by signing Mettenberger but just like you improve your home by buying a fire extinguisher – you hope you never have to use it.

Strengths:
Arm Strength
Some Starting experience in NFL
Size
Success off of play action
Success at a major college program

Weaknesses:
Delivery – needs a clean pocket and time to throw which is hard to come by in the NFL Footwork -not a scramble threat and can be forced into bad throws if he doesn’t have the space
Accuracy – highlights feature a number of plays where the receiver makes a nice play to adjust to a poorly thrown ball
Ignited possibly the lamest NFL controversy of all time by taking a selfie that annoyed JJ Watt for some reason

Chances of Making the team: 100%

Highlight of the player: