The Pittsburgh Steelers have a quarterback problem. No, not with Ben Roethlisberger, but every player behind him on the depth chart. In 2015, the Steelers saw Bruce Gradkowski head to the injured reserve list with shoulder and finger injuries, and Mike Vick was brought in to help aid the situation along with Landry Jones.
Vick had his moments of brilliance, but there was more idiocy than mastery from his play in his brief stint filling in for Roethlisberger. Jones proved he could come off the bench in an emergency situation, but when asked to start things go mighty ugly.
Both Gradkowski and Vick are currently unrestricted free agents, and the Steelers have yet to make a move on bringing in a veteran quarterback to help the team if Roethlisberger experiences another injury plagued season, like he did last year.
Several names have been discussed, one of them being Gradkowski being brought back at a veteran minimum contract, but one player, who used to be in the Steelers organization for a brief time, was recently released from the Houston Texans and should be receiving a phone call from the '412' area code soon. That player is Brian Hoyer.
Now, most of you might conjure up images of Hoyer's last start in the NFL, where he looked more like a High School JV quarterback rather than a NFL level signal caller, but, for a second, think back to 2014 when Hoyer carved up the Steelers defense as a member of the Cleveland Browns to the tune of 31-10. Hoyer didn't light up the Steelers' secondary, but made the plays necessary to provide dagger after dagger to the sagging Pittsburgh unit.
Could Hoyer be the "next man up" for the Steelers in 2016? He certainly could, but only if the price is right. Pittsburgh doesn't have much salary cap space remaining, and will have to be wise with how they spend their money. Hoyer could be looking for a place with a better chance at playing time, but he would be hard pressed to fine a team with more offensive "up-side" than the Steelers.
If Hoyer shows he is going to take a team-friendly contract, he most certainly could be the Steelers' No. 2 quarterback next season. If Roethlisberger were to be injured for 3-4 weeks, Hoyer is capable of keeping the ship afloat in his absence. If Hoyer is asking too much money, the team will likely look at Gradkoswki as a band-aid and Jones to help fill the void.
Hoyer's 60.7-percent completion percentage and 19-7 touchdowns to interceptions ratio in 2015 certainly make him a worthy candidate to help Pittsburgh round out their offensive lineup next year. As always, it depends on if the price is right.
As for me, i'm hoping to hear: "Brian...come on down...you're the next backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers!"