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Get Up Commentator Cautions Against Hyping Up Kenny Pickett’s Preseason Play: ‘It’s Very Easy To Get Enamored With The New Thing’

Let’s be honest: the only way that the quarterback conversation in Pittsburgh is going to end anytime soon is if Kenny Pickett not only starts, but plays well, to the point where one can’t reasonably argue that the Steelers would clearly be in better shape if head coach Mike Tomlin went with Mitch Trubisky.

The conversation remains at a fever pitch with Tomlin continuing to refuse to publicly name a starter, allowing both fans and media members alike to continue to debate not only who will start, but who should. Trubisky has long been the overwhelming favorite to be the opening-day starter.

Kimberley Martin believes that’s the right move for the Steelers at this time, as she said on the Get Up program on ESPN yesterday, while trying to contextualize the performance that we saw from Pickett during the preseason as just that—a preseason performance:

I think in the preseason it’s very easy to get enamored with the new thing, the thing that we haven’t seen. Mitch Trubisky has a long past. We’ve seen the ups and downs. What we’ve seen from Kenny Pickett, guys seem hyped when he’s in the game, and that’s great, but it’s against backups, vanilla offenses. We haven’t seen Kenny Pickett in a real NFL game, regular season. We know that Mitch Trubisky can at least get you some games, get you some wins, and that’s what the Steelers really need.

She obviously has a point, and I hope that any reasonable reader, no matter how biased, would be able to see that. It is true that we haven’t seen Pickett play against true NFL in-game regular season circumstances.

That goes for the level of planning an opposing coaching staff is going to put into specifically trying to create confusion for a rookie quarterback, the level of effort opposing players are going to put in relative to a preseason game, and numerous other factors that make it so very clear that games that count are a different beast compared to games that don’t.

That’s not to say that I don’t feel Pickett should be given a chance to start. I just don’t think he’s going to get that initial opportunity. To be quite honest, if Trubisky plays well enough, he might not start a game all season. But I’m not sure fortune will be that kind to Trubisky, not with this offensive line limiting what this offense can do.

Pickett is going to be a long-term starter in Pittsburgh, at least in my mind. I just don’t know when his first start is going to come—not his first start generally, but I mean the first start the marks the beginning of the Pickett era. I doubt it will be on September 11, whether his performance merits it or not.

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