The question that is one everyone’s mind in lead up for the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15 showdown against the Carolina Panthers is centered around who exactly will be under center when the offense takes their first snap on Sunday.
QB Kenny Pickett suffered a concussion last week against the Baltimore Ravens, and while he has logged limited practice session throughout the week, HC Mike Tomlin mentioned on Friday that Pickett is doubtful for Sunday’s game, almost certainly ruling him out giving the lack of preparation in team work as well as the multiple hoops he must jump through to clear concussion protocol. Tomlin has had Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph split the first team reps in practice this week, prepping both guys to potentially start against the Panthers with the starter being named tomorrow.
When RB Najee Harris was asked about the QB situation this week in the locker room on Friday, he said it doesn’t matter to him which guy gets the nod from Tomlin to start Sunday against the Panthers.
“I’m confident in whoever is in there,” Harris said to the media on video from Chris Adamski’s Twitter page. “The game plan is going to be the game plan. So, whoever is in there pretty sure are confident that they can execute it. If everybody just worries about what they got to do and focus on what they got to do, the outcome of the game will be in our favor.”
Harris is wise to keep his personal bias under his sleeve and support both QBs, stating that both guys can execute the game plan and that the rest of the team needs to focus on their own preparation and leave the QB decision to Coach Tomlin. This is different than the answer that WR Diontae Johnson gave to the same question, saying that he wants to see Mason Rudolph get the nod Sunday.
While it’s great to see a player like Johnson support his teammate in Mason Rudolph and give his support of him starting, he directly speaks against Mitch Trubisky who has been the starter and the #2 behind Pickett this season whether he means to or not. Najee Harris does a great job here not showing favoritism to either passer, but rather shows his leadership and professionalism and doesn’t talk himself into a corner.
Harris has a point in saying that he is fine with whoever is under center for Pittsburgh come Sunday. If you are so worried about another player’s performance, it can take away from your own performance which is the only variable in your control. If Harris and the rest of the team plays well in Carolina Sunday, there’s a good chance the team will come out the victor regardless of who starts at QB between Rudolph and Trubisky.