2022 South Side Questions: Does Anybody Believe There’s Any Chance Pickett Doesn’t Start Next Week?

The Steelers are at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility, now into the regular season. It’s where they otherwise train all year round, and the facility that Burt Lauten insists everybody refers to by its full name.

There are still unsettled questions that need answering, even deep into the regular season. They entered the process with questions in the starting lineup, in scheme, and elsewhere, but new problems always arise that need to be resolved.

Even questions about who’s starting and when may not have satisfactory answers in their finality, as midseason changes are certainly quite possible, for some positions more than others. We’re also feeling out how the new coordinator posts—or posts in new contexts—end up playing out.

There’s never any shortage of questions when it comes to football, and we’ll be discussing them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.

Question: Does anybody actually believe Mike Tomlin could possibly start Mitch Trubisky next week after benching him for Kenny Pickett?

The Steelers began the Kenny Pickett era yesterday evening. The team can’t just come out and say it like that in the minutes following the game, perhaps, but I have a hard time believing that anybody could actually buy the notion that Mitch Trubisky might start next week.

But maybe there are. And maybe there even is a very remote, outside possibility that Tomlin decides that Trubisky is still their guy. But heading into halftime, did anybody actually think there was a chance that we were going to see Pickett start the second half?

It’s not as though it was something so obvious where everybody knew Pickett was going to come into the game for ‘spark’ purposes, as Tomlin said. And really, you don’t often bench your starter at halftime because you’re looking for a ‘spark’.

This offense has needed a spark for three and a half weeks. They got one with Pickett in the game, even though some of them ended up burning themselves. But there’s clearly more energy, more movement, more plays being attempted, more plays being made, with him in over Trubisky.

So is it even fathomable that Trubisky starts next week? Does anybody buy the idea that it’s even anything more than a very remote possibility?

Pickett played okay overall (with high highs and low lows) following a week without much practice, because he’s the backup, and backups don’t get many reps in-season. Why would they put him back on the bench after already plugging him in to provide a ‘spark’ without seeing what he looks like with a full week’s worth of game preparation, game-planning around his wants, and actual practice time?

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