The Pittsburgh Steelers will have a new starting quarterback in 2022. They have already added one new quarterback to the depth chart this offseason following the retirement of 19-year veteran Ben Roethlisberger, though head coach Mike Tomlin admitted they were targeting the draft to hopefully add another.
Even if they fail to do so, however, the Steelers are not viewing this Summer as anything other than a competition for Mitch Trubisky, the veteran former first-round pick and former starter whom they signed as a free agent this offseason, adding to Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins already on the roster.
Owner Art Rooney II was on SiriusXM Radio earlier this week and discussed the acquisition of Trubisky, what they were told about him leading up to and subsequent to his signing, as well as their expectations for him this offseason.
“People that know Mitch have great things to say about him. He came in and just the enthusiasm that he has is great to see”, he said. “Obviously, he’s gonna have to win the job, and Mason is not gonna give it up easily. Looking forward to that. But I like the attitude that Mitch came in with. And what we’ve been hearing about [from] his teammates and other teams in the past has been all good news”.
It’s true that what we have heard from former (and some of them now current again) teammates has been positive, from Levi Wallace and James Daniels, for example, the former of whom played with him in Buffalo last year, the latter in Chicago. But, of course, it’s not like they’re going to say anything negative.
And the team isn’t going to portray the situation as anything but a competition, either, regardless of whether or not it turns out to be that way. They’ll certainly give it the appearance of a competition for as long as is feasible.
They also have the built-in advantage of Trubisky being the guy who’s ‘new to the system’ and thus ‘needs all the reps’. Then he can win the job and continue taking the starter’s reps. I would imagine few people actually think Rudolph has a more than minimal chance of actually winning the starting job.
The X-factor is the draft, and the Steelers have already made it clear that they intend to draft a quarterback. That doesn’t mean that they will have the opportunity to draft the quarterback that they want, or any at all. It also doesn’t mean that a rookie would start. But stranger things have happened. It’s not like rookies don’t start at the position all the time these days, even rookies who are said not to be ‘ready’.