Lamar Jackson presents one of the toughest matchup problems in the NFL with his dangerous legs and his quickly progressing arm. There’s no easy way to prepare against him, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to try their best ahead of Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Steelers are going to practice against their own Lamar-lite by signing one of the top dual-threat FCS quarterbacks: Taryn Christion.
Pittsburgh signed the former South Dakota State signal-caller to their practice squad on Wednesday in hopes that he can help prepare their defense. Christion is not a threat to unseat starter Mason Rudolph in Ben Roethlisberger’s absence but presents a much different skillset than the other QBs on roster.
“We haven’t specifically said what I am going to be doing, but just going through practice and running some scout-team stuff,” Christion said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’ll go out there and do my best, go out there and play hard. I am not Lamar Jackson, but I am going to play hard and run fast and do those things (he does).”
In four years with the Jackrabbits, Christion passed for 11,535 yards with 104 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. He also added 1,515 yards on the ground with 26 scores.
Christion has the tools to replicate Jackson, as well. He didn’t earn an invite to the NFL scouting combine, but his 40-yard dash time would have ranked first among quarterbacks this year by .08 seconds (4.49), and his vertical jump tied Tyree Jackson for first (34.5 inches). He also has a cannon arm that can reportedly throw over 60 yards in the air.
“I think he gave us a pretty good representation,” linebacker Vince Williams said of the rookie. “I appreciate (management) giving us a more accurate look at who he’s going to be representing.”
Christion first caught on out of college with the Seattle Seahawks but was cut before training camp. He played in one preseason game for the Dallas Cowboys, where he went 11-for-17 passing for 142 yards with a touchdown and interception plus another 22 yards on the ground.
The next question becomes how long Christion will spend on the Steelers roster with former first-rounder Paxton Lynch also on the practice squad. The Steelers don't face Baltimore again until Week 17 but do face a number of other dual-threat QBs down the stretch, including Kyler Murray (Week 14) and Josh Allen (Week 15).
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