The quarterback depth chart of the Pittsburgh Steelers has been a hot topic among sports media and fans alike recently, as we are now just days away from the opener at Cincinnati. Mitch Trubisky is obviously the starter, as he performed well during the preseason.
You know who also performed well? Rookie first-rounder Kenny Pickett.
This has caused a whirlwind of reactions, with many implying at the first sign of trouble from Trubisky, the team should hand the reigns to the future, which is obviously Pickett. The question surrounding the Steelers’ QB hierarchy came up this morning on ESPN’s Get Up and the panel had varying stances, with former Cowboys and Ravens defensive lineman Marcus Spears stating he fully expects Trubisky to lose his starting job.
“This has been a love affair from day one, and I think they’re just giving Kenny Pickett a little bit of time,” Spears said on ESPN’s Get Up. “We know quarterbacks are going to have struggles throughout a season, Mitchell Trubisky will struggle, and there will be calls for Kenny Pickett. There will be the preseason film to go back and look at, there will be the progression he’s making in practices, and eventually I think he will give way.
“They drafted the dude in the first round, so it ain’t far-fetched what we’re saying that we could see Kenny Pickett soon.”
Spears also alluded to Pickett’s age, jokingly calling him 45 years old, and citing a maturity level that exists when compared to some NFL QBs now in their second and third seasons. Pickett, who is 24, is an elder statesman when putting him next to NFL starters like Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Trey Lance, who are 22, 22 and 23, respectively.
Personally, I don’t think Trubisky is going to relinquish the starting job easily at all, as this is the opportunity he’s been waiting for to revive his career after being a scapegoat in Chicago and then taking a backup role last year behind Josh Allen in Buffalo. He was a winner with the Bears though, with several playoff trips and a 29-21 record as a starter.
However, if the seasons begins to turn sour for the Steelers, don’t think for one minute that head coach Mike Tomlin won’t hesitate to turn to their future, as he’s now listed as Trubisky’s direct backup, after spending all of training camp and the preseason as the third-string QB. And count Spears among the many who indeed thinks Pickett should be the man come Sunday versus the reigning AFC Champion Bengals.
“I think he’s ready, as opposed to trying to figure out where his mental will be, can he handle the pressure of playing QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers?” Spears said. “He played right there at Pitt, there’s a lot of things aligning for Kenny Pickett. I even think Mitchell Trubisky knows that.”