Steelers News

Mike Tomlin Admits QB Position ‘Not A Place We Can Hang Our Hat’ Right Now

While he may have a strong tendency to defer to generalities and platitudes, one thing Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t have a habit of doing is sugarcoating circumstances. Rather, he embraces the opportunity to talk about embracing the adversity of a given situation, which is what he has been doing in discussing the quarterback position he faces this offseason.

Appearing on the NFL Network yesterday with Kurt Warner, the pair were discussing the consistency of his career and what has contributed to it, with the Hall of Fame quarterback pointing out that he had one such passer for the entire duration of his career up to now. Tomlin explained how the process of replacing him has gone.

I’m one that believes you have to work to play to your strengths and work to minimize your weaknesses. That has always been a strength of ours. It may or may not be a strength now, so that’s not a place we can hang our hat.

Guys have acknowledged that that’s in question, so it makes you a little bit uncomfortable, but I think that brings out the best in all of us. I think guys like Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt understand the responsibility that comes with being them when we have a less-than-stable environment across the other side.

I’m not entirely sure how the quarterbacks on the roster might embrace that remark about the position being an unknown quantity. Publicly, certainly, they would say all the right things. Privately, they no doubt also understand that they have a lot to prove. But I’m sure each one believes he is capable of leading this team from under center.

It is true that the Steelers have been able to ‘hang their hat’ on the quarterback position for as long as Tomlin has been here, because he has always had Ben Roethlisberger up until now. Unfortunately, franchise quarterbacks do no grow on trees, nor come cheap once harvested.

First-round pick Kenny Pickett is obviously the intended future, but nobody right now is counting on him to be ‘the guy’. The prevailing view is that Mitch Trubisky, a free-agent signing this offseason, will start the season, though fifth-year Mason Rudolph is also keeping his name in circulation with some positive work during training camp.

Obviously, the Steelers would love to reach the end of the training camp process and reach the conclusion that they do have at least one quarterback they can lean on. But Tomlin is prepared for the alternative, understanding that they will have to rely on their defense and the pieces around the quarterback to succeed.

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