Steelers Ink Former Ravens QB Troy Smith

In an rather interesting move today, the Steelers signed former Ravens quarterback Troy Smith. The former Ohio State QB and Heisman Trophy winner had been in on Thursday for a workout.

He inks a “future/reserves” contract. He was playing in the UFL with the Omaha Nighthawks. Likely he will fight for the number three job, but there are plenty of chances with the backup QB spot depending on which way the Steelers go.

Byron Leftwich should be back, and then it’s down to Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch, that’s if Batch decides to play again and not retire.

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About the author: Matt Loede

 

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3 Comments

  • moose

    I think its a great move. Dixon has “Slash” like abilities but just hasnt proven himself. Leftwich is to fragile to depend on and has a throwing motion worse than tebow ever was. Batch is on his way out and weve enjoyed his tenure, but inking Smith brings life to the backup position and can add some confusion to the opposing defense when hes in the game……….and hes a former Raven so maybe we can rub it into a few faces.

  • DrGeorge

    The Steelers need for a reliable backup QB is obvious. They will probably pick up several candidates in free agency, if the price is right. Even with the addition of Smith, our backup QB profile is not good. Here’s how I see it.

    Troy Smith has solid NFL experience, he’s mobile, and he’s tough. He looks like a prototype for the ‘wildcat’ or a similar package adapted to his special abilities. But he is short (6’0″)and will need to roll out to see receivers and defenses clearly. He is projected at #3 right now.

    The Steelers recently signed Jerrod Johnson, a former Texas A&M QB, who also played some WR in college. He was had problems with interceptions and sacks and reportedly lacks a strong arm. However, he is 6’5″, 250#, and has good hands. The Steelers may see him in the receiving TE role, much like Gronkowski in New England, rather than as a QB. He doesn’t appear to be in the QB mix.

    Dixon asked to be traded before the 2011 season started, and was kept as an insurance policy only because the Steelers couldn’t trade him for value. He is unlikely to return in 2012, according to the Post-Gazette.

    Leftwich has the inside track on the #2 spot and is effective from the pocket; he plays well when healthy; but he suffered a horrific knee injury at Marshall and remains a very fragile QB to put behind an O-line that has struggled in pass protection. Given Ben R’s own history of injuries and concussions, the Steelers would no doubt prefer a back up with greater durability. At last report, he wants to return.

    Batch played well in 2012 when given the chance, but at his age, he must be considering retirement and the other options open to him. But if he needs the money, he may decide to return.

    If any two of Dixon, Leftwich, and Batch were all cut, it would free up enough cash to cover a solid veteran QB, but quality veterans are not often available at this position. However, given Ben’s medical history, the backup position at Pittsburgh is more attractive than most. Agents for veteran QBs looking for opportunity are probably talking to K. Colbert or will be as soon as the season ends. Let’s hope we get lucky.

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