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Could the Steelers Take a Flier on Former Titans QB Zach Mettenberger?

The Steelers could be interested in former Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger. 

Mettenberger was released by the Titans on Monday. While being with the organization since 2014, he completed 60.3 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 75.4 passer rating; quite the struggle.

Get this: Back in 2014 prior to the NFL draft, it was reported that the Steelers had interest in quarterback Zach Mettenberger. This was according to Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times.

The Steelers know all about Mettenberger, as they played him in his rookie season in a week 11 matchup. He threw 2 touchdowns to 1 interception and went 15-24 with 263 passing yards; quite impressive. Well, the Steelers defense does tend to make backup quarterbacks look like Tom Brady.

For the Titans last season he threw 4 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and 935 yards. He was the backup quarterback to rookie sensation Marcus Mariota.

Pittsburgh could be interested in Mettenberger even after they signed backup Bruce Gradkowski to a recent one-year contract.

He has the experience, big arm, and has played more than Gradkowski has in the last few years. The organization could give him a shot. We will just have to wait and find out.




  1. DrGeorge

    May 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    On paper, Mettenberger seems a long shot at best. In 14 games with the Titans, he was sacked 31 times and fumbled 8 times. He threw 12 TDs versus 14 interceptions. His QB rating is 16.5 over those games. The Titans cut him in favor of Matt Cassel. Sounds awful, right? Several football pundits claim this guy has no NFL future. Period.
    That’s one side of the coin.

    Here’s the other side. Mettenberger played at LSU, a powerhouse football program, and excelled there. He tore up his knee only 9 months before arriving in Nashville. He was forced to play for the Titans before he was ready. Considering he played for an 0-10 teams, his stats aren’t that bad. He has a cannon for an arm, he is accurate, and he stands tall in the pocket.

    The problem is this guy needs a chance to develop, to learn to read NFL defenses, to get rid of the ball more quickly, to regain his confidence, and to play with better receivers.

    The Steelers can provide all of that — except the tutoring. Pittsburgh does not have a history of developing QBs, including Bradshaw and Ben. R., both of whom were largely self-taught. Gradkowski has been allowed to languish unused, Landry Jones is still making rookie mistakes, and before them Tommy Maddox, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, and a legion of others going back to Stewart, Hanratty, and Neil O’Donnell — all well-regarded athletes — have come and gone over the years without becoming remarkably better than when they arrived in Pittsburgh under different coaching regimes.

    Mettenberger has the physical skills to excel in the NFL. He needs to improve on the mental aspects. He needs to find a team that will give him a chance to learn and a chance to play. The question is whether the Steelers are willing to dedicate the resources to coach him up and make it happen. Given the team’s inability to develop L. Jones over the past three years and his lack of playing time to learn, it would seem a very bad bet to pick up Mettenberger, even at a bargain price. The Steelers have had better luck picking up QBs that were trained elsewhere — but if that was the route they wished to take, they should have picked up Matt Cassel.

    • Nathaniel Bodnar

      May 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      I wish there was a favorite button on SteelersGab lol. I totally agree with you DrGeorge. An excellent comment.

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