Are Steelers keeping 3?

Will the Steelers keep three quarterbacks? Brian St. Pierre has asked around and has put his best foot forward. Join in on the raging debate.

PITTSBURGH – It's always a hot topic this time of year in Pittsburgh: Who's the No. 3 QB?

However, Brian St. Pierre has easily held favor in that department throughout the calendar year, so the debate has taken another annual twist: Why keep a No. 3 QB?

In 2004, Steelers Coach Bill Cowher kept only two because he had a viable emergency quarterback in Antwaan Randle El, who still holds numerous NCAA records from his quarterbacking days at Indiana.

In 2005, Cowher kept three quarterbacks, and all three – Ben Roethlisberger, Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch – were needed to help the team to the Super Bowl.

Batch, of course, emerged from the scramble as the new No. 2, which he's held to this day. And this day, Brian St. Pierre feels he's played well enough to deserve a roster spot right behind Batch.

"I feel confident in what I've done," said St. Pierre. "I can only control that part of it. It's out of my hands after that. I hope it works out. I want to be here."

St. Pierre was the team's No. 3 quarterback his rookie year of 2003, but had to come off the practice squad for his only active NFL duty in the meaningless 2004 finale at Buffalo.

St. Pierre didn't make the team in 2005 and signed with the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad. He was elevated to their roster that season, but did not play and was eventually signed by the Steelers last season.

It's obvious that this has been St. Pierre's best preseason. He entered the Hall of Fame Game late in the first quarter and completed six of nine passes for 94 yards and a touchdown before halftime.

His numbers tailed off in the second half of the game, but he again took the bulk of the snaps in the second preseason game after entering with 8:45 left in the second quarter.

In last Saturday's game at Washington, St. Pierre entered the game early in the fourth quarter and threw only four passes, completing two.

St. Pierre's numbers through three preseason games resulted in a passer rating of 76.7, and he's pleased.

"They gave me more of a chance to do something this camp," he said. "I've played more than I ever have, probably combined, in the three camps prior. This is about getting reps and getting the chance to go out and do it. That's what it was."

St. Pierre's confidence is obvious. He's had better command of the offense since spring workouts. And since he won't turn 28 until Nov. 28, the fifth-year vet's development is understandable.

"I was drafted the year before Ben," St. Pierre said. "So as soon as Ben got drafted that kind of put me in a very precarious position, obviously. So I had to fight out of that. I was kind of the low man on the totem pole with Tommy and Charlie always here, so that was a tough uphill battle for me. It would've been for anyone, so I'm trying to fight my way out of that and I feel like I can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel like I've earned enough respect around here."

Yet, that respect doesn't help much when it comes to the numbers game. St. Pierre has won the No. 3 job, but can he win the No. 53 job? His competition for a roster spot with the Steelers doesn't come from Randall, but from the likes of Arnold Harrison, Chidi Iwuoma and the rest of the players who excel on special teams.

"I was always fighting that here," St. Pierre said. "It wasn't just the competition. It was: Are they going to keep three?"

Are they?

"I just talked to (Coach Mike Tomlin) briefly in the spring on what his plans were and he said he definitely wants to take a good, hard look at me in the preseason, and he's given me that opportunity," St. Pierre said. "That's all I can ask for. The decision rests with him and Kevin Colbert. Hopefully I've persuaded them enough to keep me around."

St. Pierre has played well enough this preseason that he would be picked up if released, but he wants to stay here.

"I want to help this team as best I can," he said. "I'm comfortable here. I hope there's a future for me here."

Of course, St. Pierre is out of practice-squad eligibility, and that might be a blessing for him if he has to catch on with another team.

"I just want a chance to at least get established and become a bona fide number two. And then when you get your chance to play hopefully put some good film out there and become a number one."

St. Pierre appreciates that Tomlin is not only giving him a long, serious look, but that he's given him a chance to work in the first halves of games.

"Early I got to play with a lot of twos and there's a night and day difference playing with those kind of guys," St. Pierre said. "I think that's a big part of why it's helped. I go out there with those guys and I know where they'll be. I can trust them and that's a big factor. You've got to be able to trust the guys you're throwing to and those in front of you. So when you get out there with guys like that it makes a huge difference at your position."


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\nPITTSBURGH – It's always a hot topic this time of year in Pittsburgh: Who's the No. 3 QB?\r\n\r\n

However, Brian St. Pierre has easily held favor in that department throughout the calendar year, so the debate has taken another annual twist: Why keep a No. 3 QB?\r\n\r\n

In 2004, Steelers Coach Bill Cowher kept only two because he had a viable emergency quarterback in Antwaan Randle El, who still holds numerous NCAA records from his quarterbacking days at Indiana.\r\n\r\n

In 2005, Cowher kept three quarterbacks, and all three – Ben Roethlisberger, Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch – were needed to help the team to the Super Bowl.\r\n\r\n

Batch, of course, emerged from the scramble as the new No. 2, which he's held to this day. And this day, Brian St. Pierre feels he's played well enough to deserve a roster spot right behind Batch.\r\n\r\n

\"I feel confident in what I've done,\" said St. Pierre. \"I can only control that part of it. It's out of my hands after that. I hope it works out. I want to be here.\"\r\n\r\n

St. Pierre was the team's No. 3 quarterback his rookie year of 2003, but had to come off the practice squad for his only active NFL duty in the meaningless 2004 finale at Buffalo.\r\n\r\n

St. Pierre didn't make the team in 2005 and signed with the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad. He was elevated to their roster that season, but did not play and was eventually signed by the Steelers last season.\r\n\r\n

It's obvious that this has been St. Pierre's best preseason. He entered the Hall of Fame Game late in the first quarter and completed six of nine passes for 94 yards and a touchdown before halftime.\r\n\r\n

His numbers tailed off in the second half of the game, but he again took the bulk of the snaps in the second preseason game after entering with 8:45 left in the second quarter.\r\n\r\n

In last Saturday's game at Washington, St. Pierre entered the game early in the fourth quarter and threw only four passes, completing two.\r\n\r\n

St. Pierre's numbers through three preseason games resulted in a passer rating of 76.7, and he's pleased.\r\n\r\n

\"They gave me more of a chance to do something this camp,\" he said. \"I've played more than I ever have, probably combined, in the three camps prior. This is about getting reps and getting the chance to go out and do it. That's what it was.\"\r\n\r\n

St. Pierre's confidence is obvious. He's had better command of the offense since spring workouts. And since he won't turn 28 until Nov. 28, the fifth-year vet's development is understandable.\r\n\r\n

\"I was drafted the year before Ben,\" St. Pierre said. \"So as soon as Ben got drafted that kind of put me in a very precarious position, obviously. So I had to fight out of that. I was kind of the low man on the totem pole with Tommy and Charlie always here, so that was a tough uphill battle for me. It would've been for anyone, so I'm trying to fight my way out of that and I feel like I can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel like I've earned enough respect around here.\"\r\n\r\n

Yet, that respect doesn't help much when it comes to the numbers game. St. Pierre has won the No. 3 job, but can he win the No. 53 job? His competition for a roster spot with the Steelers doesn't come from Randall, but from the likes of Arnold Harrison, Chidi Iwuoma and the rest of the players who excel on special teams.\r\n\r\n

\"I was always fighting that here,\" St. Pierre said. \"It wasn't just the competition. It was: Are they going to keep three?\"\r\n\r\n

Are they?\r\n\r\n

\"I just talked to (Coach Mike Tomlin) briefly in the spring on what his plans were and he said he definitely wants to take a good, hard look at me in the preseason, and he's given me that opportunity,\" St. Pierre said. \"That's all I can ask for. The decision rests with him and Kevin Colbert. Hopefully I've persuaded them enough to keep me around.\"\r\n\r\n

St. Pierre has played well enough this preseason that he would be picked up if released, but he wants to stay here.\r\n\r\n

\"I want to help this team as best I can,\" he said. \"I'm comfortable here. I hope there's a future for me here.\"\r\n\r\n

Of course, St. Pierre is out of practice-squad eligibility, and that might be a blessing for him if he has to catch on with another team.\r\n\r\n

\"I just want a chance to at least get established and become a bona fide number two. And then when you get your chance to play hopefully put some good film out there and become a number one.\"\r\n\r\n

St. Pierre appreciates that Tomlin is not only giving him a long, serious look, but that he's given him a chance to work in the first halves of games.\r\n\r\n

\"Early I got to play with a lot of twos and there's a night and day difference playing with those kind of guys,\" St. Pierre said. \"I think that's a big part of why it's helped. I go out there with those guys and I know where they'll be. I can trust them and that's a big factor. You've got to be able to trust the guys you're throwing to and those in front of you. So when you get out there with guys like that it makes a huge difference at your position.\" ","mobileBody":" PITTSBURGH – It's always a hot topic this time of year in Pittsburgh: Who's the No. 3 QB?

However, Brian St. Pierre has easily held favor in that department throughout the calendar year, so the debate has taken another annual twist: Why keep a No. 3 QB?

In 2004, Steelers Coach Bill Cowher kept only two because he had a viable emergency quarterback in Antwaan Randle El, who still holds numerous NCAA records from his quarterbacking days at Indiana.

In 2005, Cowher kept three quarterbacks, and all three – Ben Roethlisberger, Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch – were needed to help the team to the Super Bowl.

Batch, of course, emerged from the scramble as the new No. 2, which he's held to this day. And this day, Brian St. Pierre feels he's played well enough to deserve a roster spot right behind Batch.

\"I feel confident in what I've done,\" said St. Pierre. \"I can only control that part of it. It's out of my hands after that. I hope it works out. I want to be here.\"

St. Pierre was the team's No. 3 quarterback his rookie year of 2003, but had to come off the practice squad for his only active NFL duty in the meaningless 2004 finale at Buffalo.

St. Pierre didn't make the team in 2005 and signed with the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad. He was elevated to their roster that season, but did not play and was eventually signed by the Steelers last season.

It's obvious that this has been St. Pierre's best preseason. He entered the Hall of Fame Game late in the first quarter and completed six of nine passes for 94 yards and a touchdown before halftime.

His numbers tailed off in the second half of the game, but he again took the bulk of the snaps in the second preseason game after entering with 8:45 left in the second quarter.

In last Saturday's game at Washington, St. Pierre entered the game early in the fourth quarter and threw only four passes, completing two.

St. Pierre's numbers through three preseason games resulted in a passer rating of 76.7, and he's pleased.

\"They gave me more of a chance to do something this camp,\" he said. \"I've played more than I ever have, probably combined, in the three camps prior. This is about getting reps and getting the chance to go out and do it. That's what it was.\"

St. Pierre's confidence is obvious. He's had better command of the offense since spring workouts. And since he won't turn 28 until Nov. 28, the fifth-year vet's development is understandable.

\"I was drafted the year before Ben,\" St. Pierre said. \"So as soon as Ben got drafted that kind of put me in a very precarious position, obviously. So I had to fight out of that. I was kind of the low man on the totem pole with Tommy and Charlie always here, so that was a tough uphill battle for me. It would've been for anyone, so I'm trying to fight my way out of that and I feel like I can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel and I feel like I've earned enough respect around here.\"

Yet, that respect doesn't help much when it comes to the numbers game. St. Pierre has won the No. 3 job, but can he win the No. 53 job? His competition for a roster spot with the Steelers doesn't come from Randall, but from the likes of Arnold Harrison, Chidi Iwuoma and the rest of the players who excel on special teams.

\"I was always fighting that here,\" St. Pierre said. \"It wasn't just the competition. It was: Are they going to keep three?\"

Are they?

\"I just talked to (Coach Mike Tomlin) briefly in the spring on what his plans were and he said he definitely wants to take a good, hard look at me in the preseason, and he's given me that opportunity,\" St. Pierre said. \"That's all I can ask for. The decision rests with him and Kevin Colbert. Hopefully I've persuaded them enough to keep me around.\"

St. Pierre has played well enough this preseason that he would be picked up if released, but he wants to stay here.

\"I want to help this team as best I can,\" he said. \"I'm comfortable here. I hope there's a future for me here.\"

Of course, St. Pierre is out of practice-squad eligibility, and that might be a blessing for him if he has to catch on with another team.

\"I just want a chance to at least get established and become a bona fide number two. And then when you get your chance to play hopefully put some good film out there and become a number one.\"

St. Pierre appreciates that Tomlin is not only giving him a long, serious look, but that he's given him a chance to work in the first halves of games.

\"Early I got to play with a lot of twos and there's a night and day difference playing with those kind of guys,\" St. Pierre said. \"I think that's a big part of why it's helped. I go out there with those guys and I know where they'll be. I can trust them and that's a big factor. You've got to be able to trust the guys you're throwing to and those in front of you. So when you get out there with guys like that it makes a huge difference at your position.\" ","skipOnMobile":false,"media":[],"dateOverride":"2007-08-23T20:14:00","authorOverride":"Jim Wexell","role":"SteelCityInsider.com","isPremium":true,"isHotNews":false,"isRumor":false,"syndicationFlag":true,"isClassified":true,"hotNamesLinked":true,"storyImage":"[MEDIA:453055]","mainImage":{},"thumbnailImage":"[THUMBNAIL:453055]","heroImage":{},"authorImage":"","tags":[{"id":"9807","name":"Boston College - Football"},{"id":"342","name":"Boston College"},{"id":"182","name":"Pittsburgh 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