Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers Will Assess Qbs, but Unlikely to Draft One

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers Will Assess Qbs, but Unlikely to Draft One

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - Ben Roethlisberger's stated desire to play at least three more years does not mean the Steelers won't evaluate the quarterbacks in the NFL draft this year, general manager Kevin Colbert said.

This is considered a deep draft for quarterbacks, with five or six projected to go in the first round.

"We go through the evaluation process the same every year," Colbert said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "We are going to evaluate players that we might not draft because we have to stack the draft board accordingly. [Ben] saying that, when he said it, was a huge emotional lift for me personally and for the organization.

"Now we know that he is committed to more than next season. That does not change the evaluation process. It will always be the same."

Of course, just because the Steelers intend to evaluate them the same way doesn't mean they will draft one. In fact, unlike last year when they thought about drafting Deshaun Watson and selected Joshua Dobbs in the fifth round, it is unlikely they will consider one.

Last year, Roethlisberger indicated after the season he was unsure if he wanted to return in 2017. This is different.

"It doesn't change our evaluation process because, how many years he decides to play, who knows," Colbert said. "You never dismiss any position because if you say you are not going to take a position and a player is available to you that you didn't project to be available at a certain pick, then you are going to make the pick regardless of the position."

No excuses

Colbert has left little doubt who or what was to blame for the playoff loss against Jacksonville - and it wasn't the coaches or the pregame boasting by Mike Mitchell and Le'Veon Bell.

The Jaguars were more physical than the Steelers and controlled both lines of scrimmage, and Colbert said that is the players' fault.

"Ultimately, it's up to the players," he said. "It really wasn't that complicated. Jacksonville did a great job of being physical. I don't think we matched that. They ran the ball very well against us, but ultimately it comes down to the players deciding that we got to do this.

"We are going to make decisions as a personnel group. …

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