I don’t expect there to be many people out there who are prepared to argue that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback situation in 2022 is going to catapult them into the Super Bowl conversation. Following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, they’ve assembled a collective of arms that have largely received a lukewarm response—including their rookie draft pick, Kenny Pickett, the lowest a first quarterback had been taken in a draft in many years.
By and large, though, the expectation is that free agent signing Mitch Trubisky will at least open the season as the starter. Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus isn’t necessarily in favor of that idea, instead believing they have to make the best decision for Pickett in the long term. For the Steelers, “I don’t think the ceiling’s high with Trubisky this season”, he told Andrew Filliponi and Chris Mueller recently on 93.7 The Fan.
“Trubisky doesn’t have a great track record of playing good football, including the year that the Bears were really good in 2018”, the PFF head said. “I am intrigued if a new situation could help a little bit, but if I’m a Steelers fan, I’m probably not intrigued enough to say, ‘Yeah, let’s see what Trubisky has this season’”.
The second-overall pick in 2017, Trubisky was a primary start for most of his first four seasons while with the Chicago Bears, posting a 29-21 win-loss record and advancing to the playoffs twice during that span. Yet last season the Buffalo Bills were able to sign him for cheap to back up Josh Allen.
“If Trubisky improves upon what Big Ben did last year and you can do a little bit more with the offense, and just let the defense excel and let the playmakers make plays, all that stuff probably adds up to maybe nine wins”, Palazzolo said.
And that’s only “if Trubisky doesn’t completely blow it and turn the ball over and miss too many throws, which is possible as well, because he hasn’t been a great quarterback”, he added. Count him in the group of people who don’t believe a change of scenery is going to make him a new quarterback.
And well, he’s probably right. But if the Steelers believed Trubisky was their next Roethlisberger, they probably don’t use a first-round draft pick on Kenny Pickett, either. The rookie is obviously intended to be their starter at some point within the next few years. It’s still well within the realm of possibility that his starting career begins week one of the 2022 season, or sometime soon after.
For the time being, however, the Steelers are moving forward with Trubisky running their offense, and unless or until Pickett can take that role away from him, that’s what they are going to roll with—because that’s currently their best option, whether that leads to nine wins or 17 wins or no wins at all.