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Breer: ‘It’s Not Nothing’ That Mitch Trubisky Getting 1st-Team Reps At OTAs

Free agent signing Mitch Trubisky is the presumptive favorite to be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback on opening day. That hasn’t really changed even after the drafting of Kenny Pickett in the first round last month, although it does certainly make it less of a guarantee.

Still, even with Trubisky being the favorite to start, Albert Breer believes that there is something to take away from the fact that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin wasted no time in installing him as their number one quarterback at the start of OTAs, rather than kicking things off with Mason Rudolph, entering his fifth season with the team and a player the Steelers have talked about being “comfortable” with as a starter.

It’s not nothing that Mitch Trubisky is getting the first reps at Steelers OTAs”, he wrote in his latest Sports Illustrated column yesterday. “There was some question as to whether Mike Tomlin would make Trubisky wrestle the job from Mason Rudolph, and keep it from Kenny Pickett, and I still think that’ll happen to some degree. But giving him the reps with the ones makes sense in that, if he’s most likely going to be your starter, getting him work with guys like Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth is valuable”.

A former second overall draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 2017, Trubisky has a 29-21 starting record and is still just 27 years old. He spent the 2021 season serving as a backup quarterback for the first time since the first quarter of his rookie season, playing behind All-Pro Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills.

Following Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, the Steelers signed Trubisky on a two-year contract that, with incentives, could be worth up to about $27 million, but which contains a base value of close to half of that amount.

Before free agency, the organization spoke highly of Rudolph, a 2018 third-round draft pick whom they viewed as a first-round talent. But given that they have also used a first-round draft pick on a quarterback in Pickett, it’s fairly likely that nobody in the building is putting money down betting on him being the starter. Either way, Pickett’s time will come.

As Jeremy Fowler said on ESPN yesterday, “As a source told me, ‘Look, we didn’t draft Kenny Pickett for him to sit all that long’, so it’s just a matter of when he plays”. He did say that Rudolph will also be alternating reps throughout the offseason in game-simulated periods, but really, it’s shaping up to be Trubisky’s job until Pickett is ready—unless Trubisky just plays so well that he can’t be benched.

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