Steelers Sign Tajh Boyd – Should Landry Jones Be Looking Over His Shoulder?

The Pittsburgh Steelers made their first signing ahead of free agency and as expected it involved a quarterback.

  • However, it wasn’t the quarterback Steelers Nation was expecting.

While the Steelers continue to negotiate with starter Ben Roethlisberger, the team moved to increase the depth behind him when they came to terms with  for one year.

Boyd hails from Clemson where he played with Steelers 2014 rookie of the year Martavis Bryant. The New York Jets drafted Boyd in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but cut him after the second preseason game. From there Boyd played in the Fall Experimental Football League, and per Behind the Steel Curtain’s Jeff Hartman, he also got interest from the Detroit Lions.

Lesson: Watch What Kevin Colbert Does, Not What He Says

The fact that the Steelers would begin free agency by signing a reserve quarterback reinforces the old adage when it comes to Kevin Colbert and personnel decisions – what he does, not what he says.

  • Colbert famously began the 2003 off season signing the praises of the Steelers secondary

He then promptly traded up at considerable cost to select Troy Polamalu out of USC. In that light, Tajh Boyd’s arrival could spell trouble for Steelers 2013 fourth round pick Landry Jones. Jones arrival signaled the end of the Charlie Batch backup era in Pittsburgh and he has held down the 3rd string quarterback job.

  • Jones has held a clipboard, and he’s held it well.

Yet, when he’s had a chance to see action in preseason, his play has left a lot to be desired. If you compare Jone’s second preseason outing to that of Brian St. Pierre’s, St. Pierre wins in a heart beat.
At the NFL Scouting Combine Kevin Colbert was asked about Landry Jones and his response was a little surprising as Colbert offered:

I think he got better definitely from Year 1 to Year 2. He had more extended play this preseason. I thought there were signs where he did some things better than he did the year before. Has he progressed to the point where he beat out Bruce as the No. 2? No. Maybe he will; maybe he won’t.

It’s very easy to say the words. Colbert’s latest action guarantees that Jone’s focus at St. Vincent’s is far more likely to be on holding off Tajh Boyd as opposed to challenging Bruce Gradkowski.

For the record, Steel City Insider’s Jim Wexell has argues that Boyd shouldn’t be considered as much of a threat to Jones and he would be a in a better position to know than yours truly.

Nonetheless, Scott Brown of ESPN reported that the signing of Jones likely means the Steelers will not draft a quarterback nor sign an undrafted rookie free agent quarterback.

Thanks for reading! Click here for more on the Steelers 2015 Free Agent Focus.

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