Ed Bouchette's opinion:
"Quarterback Jerrod Johnson has size (6-5, 250), talent and a big arm but he has been inconsistent and there is no time for the Steelers to allow him to become consistent. Put him on the practice squad? Not if they keep three quarterbacks which they seem intent on doing again. Theres no work for a fourth quarterback on a regular season 53-man roster. I always thought the league should have some kind of quarterback developmental program, where young players such as Johnson and Dennis Dixon could hone their games if they did not make a roster. I do not know how that would be accomplished, but it seems a waste to let that kind of talent just wither."
Johnson earned a shot based upon one off the chain game in college. That coupled with protypical size and a cannon arm. He got benched his senior year but he was playing with a messed up shoulder. He is a wild card with much upside...a guy who could be developed over time.
1.25 CB Eli Apple-DB-tOSU
2.58 SS Vonn Bell-DB tOSU
3.89 DT Javon Hargrave-SC State
4.123 DE-Matt Judon-Grand Valley State
6.220 RB-Tyler Erwin-San Jose State
7.229 WR Geronimo Allison-Ilinois
7.246 QB-Cody Kessler-USC
Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Jerrod Johnson is Finally Healthy, Opening Some Eyes During Preseason Action
August 20th, 2012
By Mark Mihalko
Sunday night the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts on a fourth quarter drive led by futures free agent quarterback Jerrod Johnson. While this was late in the game against back ups, what Johnson did was definitely worth noting.
Unlike the week before in Philadelphia, Johnson was more than a game manager and displayed a lot of poise inside the offense. In fact, he seemed in total control, even checking into positive plays when the occasion deemed necessary. More importantly, he seemed to outplay venerable veteran Charlie Batch on a relatively level playing field.
Yes, many will point to the fact that Batch had a solid statistical game, completing 7-of-10 passes for 84 yards in a little over a quarter. However, he did not seem in control of the offense and definitely did not look comfortable behind center, as the offense seemed to sputter along.
Last night, Johnson was the anti-Batch showing a strong arm, good agility and some excellent pocket presence. He finished the game by going 4-of-5 passing for 65 yards. In fact, fans may have to go back to the 2009 Texas A&M game tape to see more well-rounded action from the 6-5, 253-pound quarterback, who looks like a player finally all the way back from the shoulder injury that plagued his final seasons with the Aggies. Prior to the injury, he was a gifted quarterback with a strong arm, mobility and pocket awareness, attributes that were all on display against the Colts.
At this point in camp, fans have to wonder how the back up quarterback competition will shake out and if Johnson has a chance at making the opening day roster. With his performances, that answer should be a resounding yes. Veteran Byron Leftwich looks to have the primary back up behind Ben Roethlisberger solidified if he can stay healthy, which leaves one opening (based on previous roster breakdowns) for Johnson and Batch to fight for. By taking into account the performances, his natural skill set and upside, Johnson should be in the lead for that spot.
Sure, Batch is a fan favorite and consummate professional, but at his age, it may be time for the Steelers to add some young talent to the pool. On top of that, it is unlikely another team comes calling if he is released, something that cannot be said for certain at this point when looking at Johnson, who definitely opened some eyes as a potential long-term back up in the league.
Only time will tell how things shake out during the final weeks of preseason action, but one thing is certain. The Steelers have more of a back up quarterback competition on their hands than they ever imagined and Johnson is the player who made that happen.
Johnson should be the #3. As mentioned above Charlie will always be a phone call away. Make him an assistant coach or Community Relations Coordinator.
We really do have quit living on the edge thinking Ben is indesructable. I had hoped we would draft a project QB this year. Next year we really need to.
1.25 DT Vernon Butler, La Tech, 64 323
2.58 CB Artie Burns, Miami, 511 189
3.89 OLB, Alex McCalister, Florida, 66 240-Jarvis Jones replacement
4.123 S Jayron Kearse, Clemson, 64 216-hybrid type we could use in 3-3-5 defense
6.220 OT Stephane Nembot, 67 322-raw talent with ton of upside
7.229 CB Brian Poole, Florida, 510 210
7.246 WR/KR Ed Eagan, Northwestern State, 5 10 185-need WR depth and returner
I have been impressed with Johnson. While his game against the Eagles wasn't great from a passing perspective I did think he showed poise and targeted the correct receiver. His passing was much better in the Colts game. They guy has talent and deserves a chance. Even though I am a big Batch fan it is time for Charlie to officially start his coaching career and the Steelers to try and develop JJ.
I'm sure Charlie won't mind if we cut him and tell him we will call him when a QB goes down. He hasn't minded in the past.
Keep Johnson. Get him lot's of work running scout teams and see if he can develop into Ben's backup. Lolley has been very impressed with him (and, unlike Bouchette, Lolley actually pays attention to this team).
Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.