The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the 2022 season with two quarterbacks atop their depth chart who are brand new to the roster this season. While a veteran is still in the starting lineup for the time being in Mitch Trubisky, signed as a free agent in March, he will be backed up by the team’s first-round draft pick, Kenny Pickett, who, for now, is focused on doing whatever he can to help facilitate the team winning games.
“Preparation and helping”, he said was what he could do while serving as backup, via the team’s website; “just kind of being that extra coach. Whatever we need, whatever Mitch needs to help him out, give the guys a great look on the [scout team], and then just be a guy or Mitch on the sideline, echo what I see, and help him in any way he needs”.
The rookie quarterback did impress this summer, particularly during the preseason, which is the area of execution for which head coach Mike Tomlin reserved his praise, though Pickett insisted that his focus is on improving his off-field preparation, particularly in the classroom and film room.
Pickett, as he told reporters, is no stranger to a number two role. He came to Pitt as a backup for the Panthers before taking over the starting role and authoring one of the great seasons by a player of any position in school history in 2021. He plans to utilize his prior experience in the batter’s circle to be an even better teammate and support while in that role here.
By all accounts, the relationship amongst the quarterbacks has been a good one, even if Mason Rudolph is not particularly happy with the circumstances in which he finds himself, and all but explicitly stated outright yesterday that he is hoping to be traded now that he is locked into the number three role as a gameday inactive.
While it seems all along that the long arc of the summer’s quarterback ‘competition’ was almost inevitably going to lead to Trubisky starting, Pickett as the number two will at least have the opportunity to take all of the team’s second-string reps, which is actually something that Tomlin specifically confirmed on Tuesday.
But the areas in which he plans to grow the most, as stated, are not on the grass. Growing his understanding of the game, while still being able to translate that onto the practice field, and also delivering what he needs to help the starters prepare to win games, is his focus until the moment his number is called.