One of the more interesting names at Pittsburgh Steelers rookie minicamp this weekend is former Los Angeles Rams and Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins. Perkins has starting experience, as he started a Week 11 game last season for the Rams against the Kansas City Chiefs. With Pittsburgh looking for a QB3, Perkins has a shot to prove himself worthy of the job at rookie minicamp. However, with his experience comes the unique challenge of being in a different NFL environment than the one he’s used to.
“You can get caught up in the habit of seeing things. It’s really making sure you’re coming out here and adjusting,” Perkins told Dale Lolley of Steelers.com. “You’re just coming out and trying to translate the things you’ve done for three years. It’s a new process, but it’s been fun.”
Perkins has served as a backup for the Rams since 2020, and they’re the only NFL team he’s played for. There are surely differences between the way the Steelers and Rams run things and differences between each offense and their philosophies. As a result, Perkins is more like a veteran figuring things out at training camp with his new team rather than a rookie who’s still getting adjusted to life in the NFL and rookie minicamp is all he knows of the NFL experience.
It’s an interesting and unique challenge for Perkins, although his play at the NFL level and the fact he’s been able to stick as a backup in the league for the last few years might give him a little bit of a leg up on the other quarterbacks, including Tanner Morgan and Hunter Johnson.
One thing the Steelers looked for when evaluating quarterbacks before the draft was running ability and mobility, and that’s another area where Perkins has an advantage. He ran for 90 yards on 19 attempts with the Rams last year, and in his final season at Virginia he ran for 769 yards and 11 touchdowns. His ability to use his legs is surely intriguing for the Steelers.
The Steelers traditionally take four quarterbacks to training camp, and right now the only three on the roster are starter Kenny Pickett, and backups Mitch Trubisky and Morgan, who was signed as an undrafted free agent. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Perkins get signed and have the opportunity to come to camp and fight for the third quarterback job. The more familiar he gets with Pittsburgh’s offense, the better he’ll do in it, so creating competition for that job between him and Morgan could be an interesting camp battle to watch.