The Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback room underwent a major refresh this offseason. Only fifth-year veteran Mason Rudolph, who has been the team’s primary backup for the past three years, remains from last season’s roster, as Ben Roethlisberger retired, and Dwayne Haskins tragically lost his life.
Not only did the team add a veteran via free agency, they also drafted two, so a full three-fourths of that quarterback room is now new to Pittsburgh, with half being rookies, and even the veteran carryover, Rudolph, is facing very different circumstances. It’s a bit of a work in progress.
“We have a pretty quiet quarterback room right now. I’m trying to get the guys to open up and be more vocal”, Mitch Trubisky, the presumptive starter and free-agent signing, told Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an exclusive interview posted earlier this morning.
Asked about the transition from a big personality from a very experienced and accomplished player like Roethlisberger to having new and less experienced voices, Trubisky said that “You’ve got to” take it upon yourself a bit to have that assertiveness and authoritativeness, for the good of the group, referencing his quarterbacks coach, Mike Sullivan.
“Sullivan says it all the time, a noisy quarterback room is a good quarterback room”, he told Batko. “Because you’re having those conversations and you’re talking good football. You want those conversations because they stimulate growth. They stimulate learning opportunities within the room, so that’s why you want a noisy room, you know?”.
That noise is going to have to come from Trubisky for the time being, because rookies who aren’t very clearly ‘the guy’ from day one aren’t going to come in as the rah-rah sort unless they’re already a world champion duck caller with nothing to lose.
But somebody like Kenny Pickett will be able to pick up that mantle over time. I don’t think there are any concerns about him leading a quiet quarterback room as he gradually begins to establish himself, especially once he takes over the starting role, whenever that might be.
But for now, and until otherwise noted, this is pretty much Trubisky’s quarterback room to lead, and it’s incumbent upon him to set the tone. He has been that young first-round pick, the anointed one, before. He has also been the starter, and has taken teams to the postseason. He’s been the backup as well.
Now he’s the guy looking for a fresh start, looking to compete for the right to be ‘the guy’ again, but at the same time, looking to be the leader of a young and budding quarterback room, making that transition in his career from the young blood to the veteran. Whatever that means for him in the future.