If there was ever a time for the Pittsburgh Steelers to lose their top two quarterbacks, this isn’t it.
That, however, is the case in the Steel City, and the Steelers are going to have to roll with the punches as the playoffs draw closer. In hopes of alleviating their woes at the quarterback spot, Pittsburgh is expected to sign free agent gunslinger Brian Hoyer on Tuesday.
Hoyer was brought in for a workout along with former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mike Kafka, but the former appears to have put on a better show for the Pittsburgh coaching staff.
Formerly of the New England Patriots, Hoyer spent his first three seasons in the NFL backing up future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady. Throughout his time in Boston, Hoyer played in 13 games primarily in a mop-up role. Hoyer has completed 27 of his 43 passes for 286 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a 80.2 career passer rating. He also has 14 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground to his credit.
Although Hoyer possesses some potential, the Patriots opted to go with second-year man Ryan Mallett as their primary backup to Brady. Since being released, he has wandered the streets waiting for his opportunity to prove he’s still relevant in the NFL.
With Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich both nursing shoulder and rib injuries, the Steelers will go with Charlie Batch as their starting quarterback this Sunday when they visit the Cleveland Browns. Batch has compiled a 5-2 record as a starter during his years with the Steelers, so there’s hope that he can carry the team to a much-needed victory. Hoyer, however, will serve as insurance for the 37-year-old veteran.
It has been an up-and-down year for the Steelers, who are still in the playoff hunt at 6-4. If they want to maintain that postseason positioning, though, they’ll need the rest of their offense to rise to the occasion and give the aging Batch a lift. Having Hoyer on board helps, too.