In the most recent edition of the Move The Sticks Podcast with Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks, the two NFL Network analysts break down several different topics, including the importance of culture in high school football, Next Gen Stats’ top ten NFL deep passers in the 2022 season, as well as how many starts the two believe each of the rookie QBs from the 2022 NFL Draft will log in their first season.
The two led off with the first QB off the board in the draft, Pitt QB Kenny Pickett who was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers #20 overall in the first round. When Daniel Jeremiah posed the question to Bucky Brooks as to how many starts Pickett would get, Brooks hedged by going nearly smack-dab in the middle of the 2022 season.
“I think eight,” Brooks answered when asked by Jeremiah how many games he expects the rookie QB to start in 2022. “I don’t think he wins the job right out of training camp. I think the job goes to one of the veterans, mainly Mitch Trubisky. But I think when we get to the midway point, I think Kenny Pickett will have settled in enough to get an opportunity to lead this team, and when he gets into the game, I think he stays in the game.”
This matches the trending thought that veteran QB Mitch Trubisky will be the team’s opening-day starter once the regular season kicks off against the Cincinnati Bengals. Trubisky opened OTAs and mandatory minicamp getting most of the first-team snaps, and has such been preparing to be the starter in the early stages of the 2022 season.
Dulac: "But after two weeks of organized team activities (OTAs) and three days of a mandatory minicamp that ends Thursday, all signs appear to point to Trubisky being the starter when the Steelers open their season Sept. 11 in Cincinnati." #Steelers #NFL https://t.co/nCB0s4gFtS
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) June 11, 2022
Outside of Trubisky, even his teammates are recognizing that he is the odds-on favorite to be Pittsburgh’s starting QB Week 1 as things sit here right now. C Mason Cole said as much recently during OTAs that Pittsburgh is “rolling with him” in the middle of May. Cole did acknowledge that jobs will be won in training camp, but as of now “Mitch is the guy.”
OL Mason Cole confirmed Mitch Trubisky took first 11-on-11 QB snaps at OTA No. 1: “I think right now they’re rolling with him but it’s the middle of May, there’s a lot to figure out. Jobs aren’t won right now so we’ll see in training camp but I think right now Mitch is the guy.”
— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 24, 2022
Those sentiments were reiterated by another OL in third-year pro Kevin Dotson, telling Mike Prisuta of WDVE that “they pretty much made that decision” in terms of Trubisky being the #1 QB.
Kevin Dotson on the offensive line preparing to block for three potential starting QBs: “I would say just for camp, but they pretty much said it already, that Mitch was the No. 1. The team, team-wise, they pretty much made that decision. That’s what I see.”
— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) May 24, 2022
When Jeremiah had his turn to answer the question, he showed a little more optimism in terms of Pickett getting on the field faster than what his co-host Brooks thought would be the case.
“I was going to go ten,” Jeremiah responds after Brooks answers eight starts for Pickett. “I am going to go over that and say that we do see Trubisky to start the season, but it’s going to be a fun competition to watch. I don’t think [Pickett] starts Week 1, I think we’re on the same page there. I think 8-10 starts, we’re speaking the same language.”
QB order at Minicamp start:
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) June 7, 2022
So, both analysts think that while Trubisky will open the regular season as the starting QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the combination of the draft capital investment as well as the development of Pickett will eventually win out and allow him to unseat Trubisky as the QB1 in Pittsburgh.
Should Trubisky struggle early to start the 2022 season, it wouldn’t be hard to see Pickett getting an opportunity to play should he not win the job outright in training camp. However, should Trubisky play well to start the season and Pittsburgh is .500 or better at the midway point, it may be difficult to see them yanking Trubisky for Pickett as a team hell-bent to stay in the fight for the playoffs on a yearly basis.
Training camp and preseason performance will be the deciding factor of who enters 2022 as the starting QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the overwhelming consensus in the industry is that Pickett will take the starting job at some point in his rookie season.
What are your thoughts on Jeremiah and Brooks’ predictions? Do you think Trubisky starts at least half the games for Pittsburgh in 2022? What happens in Trubisky plays well to start the season? Please leave your thought in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!