(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Mike Tomlin wants a mobile quarterback. It's clear as day. Tomlin has spoke about quarterback mobility several times during his press conferences this year, and it was brought up again at his season-ending presser on Tuesday.
"Man, quarterback mobility is valued," Tomlin said. "Not only by me but by everyone. It’s just a component of today’s game, and increasingly so."
Quarterback mobility is trending across the league, just look at all the young star quarterbacks -- Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, etc.
So, where do the Steelers go from here? They are honestly in a tough spot, as they have the 20th overall pick in the draft and this year's quarterback class is weak. And their current quarterbacks are not promising either with Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins. Haskins is certainly not the answer, and Rudolph lacks mobility. His pocket presence is awful. That's why I just can't see Tomlin going ahead with Rudolph as QB1 in 2022.
Big-name quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson have been mentioned as possible replacements for Roethlisberger, but it would be surprising if either situation came to fruition.
Maybe the Steelers trade for Jimmy Garoppolo or Derek Carr. While they are not to the caliber of Garoppolo and Carr, the Steelers can also sign a quarterback like Marcus Mariota or Gardner Minshew. Tomlin said, "all options are on the table" when asked about finding Roethlisberger's heir apparent.
As of right now, the Steelers can go in several different directions at quarterback, but if they go with Rudolph in 2022, they're setting themselves up for failure. I think Matt Canada needs a mobile quarterback if his offense is going to be successful. I wasn’t impressed with Canada as a play-caller, but Roethlisberger really didn't help him with his lack of mobility.
Tomlin indicated that Canada will be back next season also, as he said he's "optimistic" about Canada leading the offense. A Canada-Rudolph combination will be just a repeat of this season, and it will be worse.
Having a mobile quarterback or at least someone who can move in the pocket and extend plays is a must in today's NFL. Tom Brady is an anomaly, he's the greatest quarterback of all time.
Ben Roethlisberger's mobility was all but gone the last two years, and the offense turned into a quick dink-and-dunk passing attack. It was painful to watch, as Roethlisberger used to excel at extending plays in his younger days.
“Coach Tomlin does a great job preaching quarterback mobility,” Haskins said. “When we play certain QBs that have a type of mobility, I get a chance to emulate them — guys like Patrick Mahomes, guys that can extend plays like Aaron Rodgers and throw it downfield.
“He’s defined quarterback mobility as a guy who can extend plays, not necessarily a guy like a Lamar Jackson-type of a guy that can take off for 60 yards, but a guy who can get a first down but be able to move around the pocket and make a guy miss, kind of like a young Ben was. He preaches a lot how Ben was like Josh Allen early in his career. That’s something he feels can add another dynamic to this offense.”
With how the league has been trending, I don’t think Tomlin can go through another season without a mobile quarterback. I just can't see Tomlin settling for Rudolph.