Guess what, folks. It’s training camp time. And that means it’s time for training camp questions. For the first time since 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers are actually back at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe after having been forced to remain in Pittsburgh, where they held their past two training camps inside of the Field Formerly Known as Heinz.
Even though the Steelers are back on very familiar ground, more specifically on that of Chuck Noll Field, this is a training camp that is unusually full of certainty. After all, they haven’t had a genuine quarterback battle in a couple of decades, but they have one now with Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph.
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 training camp will only create more questions as we go along, even as it starts to provide some answers. We’ll be covering them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.
Question: How will the Steelers handle quarterback rep distribution in the preseason?
An actual NFL football game was staged last night, which got me to thinking: what will the Steelers’ preseason games look like under center? We purportedly have a legitimate quarterback competition going on, though there are real questions about how legitimate it is, and perhaps the snap distribution will be telling in that regard.
We have heard numerous times that the job is essentially Mitch Trubisky’s to lose. Basically, if he doesn’t repeatedly trip over his feet on a daily basis, he’s going to be the quarterback under center in Week 1. But both Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett have been hanging around, making the occasional big play here and there.
Head coach Mike Tomlin this past week talked about using different groupings as a means of measuring the quarterbacks and their progress, with there being some more mixing on Wednesday, though it seemed that Trubisky was back to taking all of the first-team reps again yesterday.
Trubisky and Pickett are, of course, the players who are new to the team, and who would need to get the most work. Pickett being the rookie, he would need the most work of all were he to be getting ready to be a starter.
With there now being only three preseason games, teams have to be even more thoughtful about how they distribute their snaps when they are trying to make decisions about roles, especially if it’s a role as important as starting quarterback.
I’m going to take a guess and say that Trubisky isn’t going to take a single snap in the preseason without first-team personnel being on the field, particularly the offensive line, though the wide receivers and running backs can mix in. But about the rest? It’s hard to say. Will Rudolph get Landry Jones-ed out of snaps? Or will the team basically concede to a redshirt year for Pickett?