The Pittsburgh Steelers purport to believe that they have three starter-capable quarterbacks on their 53-man roster right now in Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph, with that order expected to be the depth chart once we get into the regular season in a very short amount of time.
The team signed Trubisky as a veteran free agent in March before they knew that they would have the opportunity to draft Pickett, who proceeded to impress during preseason play, and has many people, both inside and outside of Pittsburgh, clamoring for him to start.
Even though head coach Mike Tomlin has (arguably) strategically opted thus far not to publicly announce who the starting quarterback would be, it has been one of the worst-kept secrets in sports right now that Trubisky is all but officially the starter. And despite the promise Pickett has shown, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there is no “plan”, nor timeline, to get him in the lineup.
Asked during a chat session yesterday about just that sort of scenario, Dulac told a fan that the Steelers will only “make that move when it is necessary, if it is necessary”. Later one, when asked how quick Tomlin might pull the trigger to make the switch to Pickett, he said, “He won’t be quick at all. He doesn’t believe in a short leash, unless it is absolutely necessary”.
Now, you know I hope that I’m not presenting this as some type of revelatory insight. I think this has been the majority-held opinion for a while, and justifiably so, because the team has not given us any good reason to think otherwise.
Trubisky has been functioning as the first-team quarterback since he got here. I’m not sure that he ever even took a single ‘second-team’ snap during all of training camp, as in working with backup linemen and skill players. He started every preseason game, and was given the entire first half in the third game, which was his best performance.
Regardless of how much Pickett was able to show with the opportunities that he was given, unless there is some significant upset, I think it’s safe to say that this is Mitch Trubisky’s offense for the 2022 season barring some significant troubles arising that push Tomlin into making a change.
I think it’s even an open question whether or not Pickett will open the season as the number two quarterback, rather than Rudolph. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he wouldn’t start if Trubisky were injured or got benched, but for standard gameday needs, would you really be shocked if Tomlin dressed Rudolph rather than Pickett?