The old adage is, if you have two quarterbacks you really have none, but for the Pittsburgh Steelers and their three-headed quarterback competition between Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett, the black and gold are betting they have one franchise signal caller in there.
ESPN NFL analyst and former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears believes the Steelers are in a good situation with the quarterback competition overall though, considering the Steelers have a pair of quarterbacks in Trubisky and Pickett that fit the scheme of second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Appearing on NFL Live Tuesday to discuss the Steelers’ quarterback competition between the trio, and the fact that Pickett – the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft — was receiving third-string reps in OTAs, Spears spun some positivity for the black and gold, believing that in the end the Steelers’ competition at the quarterback position will only make the Steelers better in the long run.
“I don’t think he’ll [Kenny Pickett] be anywhere near the third string. He could be backing up though. Mitchell Trubisky is gonna get a real shot at this job, and Pittsburgh understands, look, Matt Canada, this offensive coordinator has a lot to prove, but one thing he can use as a quarterback’s mobility,” Spears said on ESPN Tuesday, according to video from the show. “I think Kenny Pickett will eventually…I think Trubisky will eventually give way, whether it’s after this season or, or more down the road towards the end of this season.
“But right now, I look at this quarterback situation in Pittsburgh as a good thing,” Spears added. “Mike Tomlin has two guys that are willing to compete. Kenny Pickett’s maturity even showed in that response with being the third team guy right now. And that’s a part of what you want as well. We get so enamored with the physical ability to attribute to these guys and what they can do at that position alone. You have to have a level of maturity as well, especially being a young guy with a franchise and an organization like this. And he understands that all too well with being around him for so long. So I think it’s a good situation that Pittsburgh is in, but Trubisky to me, will be the starter when the season starts.”
At face value, that certainly seems to be the likely scenario overall for the Steelers. Trubisky likely opens the season as the starter on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, and from there we’ll see how things play out. There’s a very good chance Pickett is the No. 2 on the depth chart and Rudolph is traded before cutdown day, leaving rookie Chris Oladokun as the third quarterback on the roster moving forward.
For the first time in a long, long time, the Steelers have a quarterback competition, and it’s hard to disagree with Spears and his belief that it’s a good situation overall for the Steelers. Pickett knows what he’s stepping into and has already shown maturity with the situation, in terms of how reps are being divided in OTAs, as is Rudolph, who has fully bought into the belief that he’s going to get a fair crack at the starting job.
Trubisky knows what he signed up for too, so there’s no disgruntled party overall within the quarterback room, which is nothing but a positive for the quarterbacks and the rest of the players on the roster moving forward. It’s all about competing, which will bring out the best in them.
That, in turn, will make the Steelers better overall.