Even with some of the outside noise growing louder and louder regarding concerns with the training camp performances of veteran quarterback Mitch Trubisky and rookie first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett compared to fifth-year veteran Mason Rudolph at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, the Pittsburgh Steelers — especially second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada — feel good about the direction of the quarterback room overall.
It’s never easy replacing a legend at the most important position in all of sports, which is what the Steelers are attempting to do this season after the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger following 18 seasons under center in the Steel City. The Steelers brought in Trubisky early in free agency, made Pickett their first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and made sure Rudolph received a one-year extension prior to the 2021 season, ensuing a three-way quarterback competition would take place in training camp ahead of the 2022 season.
Though no player has truly separated himself from the pack a little over a week into training camp, Canada — who appeared on the popular SiriusXM show Movin the Chains with co-hosts Pat Kirwan, Jim Miller and Paul Alexander — stated that he believes the competition is bringing out the best in all involved, and that the Steelers’ quarterback room is moving in the right direction.
“Obviously, competition brings the best out of all of us. So I think there’s a situation where we’ve got good players competing,” Canada said to Kirwan, Miller and Alexander, according to audio via SiriusXM. “Mitch has come in and is leading the charge in that room right now, based on his resume, based on what he’s done and has really embraced that role. The players have embraced him.
“Mason’s been here longer and knows a lot. And you know, as you just mentioned, has won some games as a starter. We feel good about him, and then Kenny’s come in as a rookie who’s very, very competitive, very eager and doing a great job. So to me, competition brings out the best in everybody and we got a good solid room right now. We’re moving the right direction and every day is a new day.”
While outside observers such as ESPN’s Brooke Pryor and other media members have called the three-way QB competition uninspiring and underwhelming, the Steelers are sticking to the plan of splitting up reps, rotating guys in and out and giving all three a relatively fair crack at winning the starting job for the Sept. 11 season-opener on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers are taking their time, gathering all the possible information they can, and then will make an informed decision one way or another, regardless of the volume of the outside noise. There’s no denying the Steelers feel good about the situation developing in the quarterback room for the time being.
Overall, the group is moving forward at a strong pace as they get more and more comfortable each and every day on Chuck Noll Field in Latrobe. How that translates to actual games remains to be seen, but there’s a real sense of confidence permeating from that room in Year 2 under Canada, which is a huge positive for the black and gold, at least right now.