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: Which quarterback will have the most success tonight?
Heading into tonight’s game, head coach Mike Tomlin made it clear that the team intends to use “the three quarterbacks” against the Seattle Seahawks—that is, the three quarterbacks who are vying for a starting job, with Chris Oladokun expected to watch attentively from the sidelines.
The rough outline of snap distribution we can anticipate, adjusted for the natural ebb and flow of the game, is to see Mitch Trubisky start and play out the opening quarter, followed by Mason Rudolph taking the game into the second half, with rookie Kenny Pickett closing out the game’s fourth quarter.
Ideally, each of them will get an amount of playing time adequate enough to offer some coherent observations, though that remains to be seen. Under preseason circumstances, the quality of their reps cannot possibly be equal, but judged relatively, there may well be a ‘best’ performer.
Coming into the game, Rudolph has perhaps been the most consistent performer, with Trubisky offering the most ‘splash’, and Pickett making strides as a rookie as the weeks go by, along with some hints of the sort of skillset that encouraged the Steelers to draft him in the first round.
As veterans, Trubisky and Rudolph should be the most prepared to perform right out of the gate, Rudolph in his fifth season with the Steelers. Pickett is about to make his in-game NFL debut, so a learning curve would be expected.
This is a marathon, not a sprint, but marathons have legs, and each preseason game is a significant leg within the broader race, so observations coming out of each one hold some weight. Whoever is able to look the best coming out of the stadium tonight will have, at the least, done himself a service.