The Steelers are already out of training camp and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility. It’s where they otherwise train all year round, and the shift from Saint Vincent College for training camp back to Pittsburgh signals the approaching arrival of the regular season.
The team had a good few weeks of work up in Latrobe, but there are still unsettled questions that need answering. There are a few position battles yet to be determined, whether one considers the quarterback job up for grabs, or even remotely in the mix.
We’ve got yet another new offensive line with some incoming veterans in James Daniels and Mason Cole. Myles Jack is in at inside linebacker, replacing Joe Schobert, and we’ll have to see if Devin Bush can return to form after last year’s dismal display.
There’s still so much going on, and even coming out of training camp, we’ll only uncover more questions as we go along. We’ll be discussing them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.
Question: How will Mike Tomlin distribute the quarterback snaps in the preseason finale?
Whether or not one believes that there is still a question involved will determine whether or not one believes this is the biggest question remaining before the start of the season. That question, if it exists, is whether or not Kenny Pickett can win the starting job. If there is a realistic possibility of head coach Mike Tomlin allowing that to happen, then it will come down to tomorrow night.
And we might be able to tell how serious that is a question based on how much playing time Tomlin gives the rookie, and perhaps when as well. Now, Mitch Trubisky is on record in saying that he expects to start, and expects to play longer than he has in previous games. He made it through the first quarter last week. Indications are that the starters will play a half.
What happens after that? Will Pickett get the second half of Trubisky gets the first, or will it be divided between the rookie and Mason Rudolph? Or perhaps even Trubisky could play into the second half if Tomlin wants to see more for whatever reason he might have.
I think a large majority of Steelers fans, whether they agree or not, believe that it’s already a done deal that Trubisky will be the opening day starter, and there isn’t anything realistic that could happen on Sunday that might change that, in terms of performance.
That very well might be the case. In fact, I’m guessing that it is. Nevertheless, I’ll allow myself to be curious about the playing time distribution relative to Tomlin’s claim that the quarterback position is not yet completely set in stone. Regardless, it will still be interesting to see how much Pickett plays, even if, or especially if, it’s the last time that he takes the field for a while.