Sport Kenny Pickett vs. Mitchell Trubisky: Who is winning Steelers' QB1 battle to replace Ben Roethlisberger?
Steelers’ Pickett Addresses Early Training Camp Struggles
The rookie is wanting to “move on” from his early mistakes and work on improving. View the original article to see embedded media. Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett has struggled in his performance during this week’s training camp.Although he’s had multiple drops, interceptions and other mishaps, Pickett is remaining positive and noting that this is only the beginning of his career and he has time to improve.“Obviously, two days in, you want to be perfect, but you’re never gonna be,” Pickett said to reporters on Friday.
The Steelers rolled with Ben Roethlisberger as their starting quarterback for 17 years. That streak will come to an end in 2022.
The 2021 NFL season was Roethlisberger's last in the NFL. He retired after the team lost to the Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs, and with good reason. Injuries had sapped his throwing power and most of his mobility by the end of his career, and that made it hard for him to be anything other than a dink-and-dunk quarterback.
Pittsburgh is facing uncertainty as it ushers in a new era at quarterback. It didn't land one of the higher-end quarterbacks on the trade market during the 2022 NFL offseason but instead added multiple players with upside to compete for the starting job.
Steelers In Transition and Mitch Trubisky’s Growth
The sixth-year QB talks about what he learned from his year backing up Josh Allen for the Bills. Plus, DK Metcalf and Deebo Samuel get paid, and more. LATROBE, Pa. — Mitch Trubisky came up behind me, and I honestly hadn’t even noticed him come up the hill to the foot of the St. Vincent student center, where the Steelers’ makeshift locker room is set up. When I turned and saw him, he had his hat pulled low, a backpack pulled over both shoulders, and he blended in with a handful of other players in a small space around him.This is different for the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft.
The Steelers signed Mitchell Trubisky as a free agent and then spent their first-round draft pick on Kenny Pickett. Those two, along with seventh-round project quarterback Chris Oladokun, have joined fifth-year Steeler Mason Rudolph on a depth chart that has no clear choice for the top of it.
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It looks as if it will be a three-horse race. Coach Mike Tomlin indicated in a recent interview that Trubisky, Pickett and Rudolph are all making a case to be the No. 1 QB.
They're making it difficult for us. It's tough to manage three capable guys, but they're forcing us to do it because they're making the necessary plays. They're anticipating, the timing has been good, [and] the accuracy has been good.
Mitchell Trubisky No. 1, Kenny Pickett No. 3 on initial Steelers depth chart
It’s non-binding depth chart season in the NFL, and the Steelers have released one. With an ongoing quarterback competition, the first unofficial hierarchy officially places Mitchell Trubisky at the top of the stack. He’s No. 1, Mason Rudolph is No. 2, and rookie Kenny Pickett appears at No. 3. Trubisky has consistently been the starter [more]He’s No. 1, Mason Rudolph is No. 2, and rookie Kenny Pickett appears at No. 3.
The trio may be making it tough on Tomlin, but one of them appears to have the inside track on the starting job. Here's what to know about the state of the Steelers' preseason quarterback battle between Trubisky, Pickett and Rudolph.
What Mike Tomlin has said about Kenny Pickett
The Steelers had unique access to Pickett during the lead-up to the 2022 NFL Draft. The team shares facilities with Pitt's football program. Pickett was a four-year starter for the Panthers, so Tomlin and Co. got an up-close look at him.
They liked what they saw.
"One of the things that was very evident about Kenny being next door is he's just a ridiculous competitor," Tomlin told Rich Eisen on NFL Network's Day 3 coverage of the 2022 draft. "So, we're just excited about putting him in the mix and watching him compete against Mitch and Mason and seeing where that leads us."
As Tomlin indicated, Pickett wasn't guaranteed to be the team's starter despite being a first-round pick. The coach wanted to let Pittsburgh's unsettled quarterback situation play out and see if Pickett could beat out Trubisky and Rudolph.
NFL training camp 2022: Steelers first-round pick Kenny Pickett listed as third QB on depth chart
NFL training camp 2022: Steelers first-round pick Kenny Pickett listed as third QB on depth chart[Set, hut, hike! Create or join a fantasy football league now!]
But Tomlin quickly affirmed that Pickett would be in the mix for the job.
He certainly has a chance [to be our Week 1 starter]. I agree with that sentiment of his readiness from a professional perspective.
In that interview with Eisen, Tomlin elaborated on why the Steelers spent a first-round selection on Pickett.
"It was two things that really attracted us to him from a floor standpoint," Tomlin said. "We thought he had pro-level anticipation. We thought he had pro-level accuracy. Often times, those are two variables that really require a lot of adjustment from a quarterbacking standpoint. We felt he came ready-made in those ways. Hopefully that's an asset to him in terms of being able to compete and being ready, if his performance dictates it."
Fast-forward to training camp, and at least some of Pickett's pro readiness is showing. Tomlin praised Pickett's consistency in an Aug. 9 interview with CBS Sports.
Kenny P, I don't think you can get him in an environment where he gets flustered. . . . We saw that at Pitt and it's it's been the same. It doesn't matter what drill or what environment you put him in. He's Steady Eddy and really cool."
NFL world reacts to Mitchell Trubisky’s shockingly bad practice stats
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback situation is very clearly in flux after the retirement of long-time quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. And it appears that their newest addition, Mitchell Trubisky, isn’t helping the matter with some poor practice performances thus far during the team’s training camp. Trubisky has been getting the majority of first-team reps for the team this Read more The post NFL world reacts to Mitchell Trubisky’s shockingly bad practice stats appeared first on The Comeback: Today’s Top Sports Stories & Reactions.
Despite that characterization, Pickett was No. 3 on the initial Steelers quarterback depth chart of the 2022 preseason. The No. 1 player on that list was one of the team's big free-agent acquisitions.
What Mike Tomlin has said about Mitchell Trubisky
Tomlin said in the same Aug. 9 interview with CBS Sports that if the season started the next day, Trubisky would start.
The Steelers' coach praise all three quarterbacks in the competition but said that one key trait separated Trubisky from the pack.
"Mitch's silver bullet, if you will, is his fluidity and mobility," Tomlin said. "He's a really good athlete."
Tomlin said during the 2022 offseason thatas it looked for a successor to Roethlisberger. Therefore, it's no surprise that Trubisky would be his starter at this point in the competition.
Tomlin's endorsement of Trubisky was notable given that he was unwilling to call the 27-year-old the team's starter at other points during the offseason.
In March, Tomlin said that the Steelers "were attracted to [Trubisky's] upside."
He’s young and experienced. He’s won — to be quite honest with you, he’s probably won more than anybody else that was in the field, and he didn’t cost us any draft capital. It allowed us to maintain all our picks, and you guys know how we feel about building our team through the draft. So, there were a lot of things about him that was attractive to us.
Tomlin says Trubisky leads Steelers’ QB race, but Pickett and Rudolph are “making it difficult”
Mitchell Trubisky remains in the lead in the Steelers’ quarterback competition, but it’s a close three-way race a month before the season. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told CBS Sports that if the Steelers had to play a meaningful game this week, Trubisky would start. But Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph are performing well enough [more]Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told CBS Sports that if the Steelers had to play a meaningful game this week, Trubisky would start. But Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph are performing well enough in training camp that the coaching staff is having a tough time saying definitively that Trubisky will get the job.
Then, the Steelers drafted Pickett in April, Tomlin said in May that he could become the starter, and in June he said he expected a "fierce" competition for the starting job.
But now, Trubisky is No. 1 on the Steelers' initial quarterback depth chart. He will try to use the preseason to prove that he belongs there long term.
What Mike Tomlin has said about Mason Rudolph
Lost in the acquisitions of Trubisky, Pickett and Oladokun was the fact that Rudolph is still on the roster.
Rudolph is entering his fifth year with the Steelers. The 2018 third-round pick has started 10 games for Pittsburgh and has posted a 5-4-1 record, a 61.5 completion percentage, 2,366 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Rudolph has never staked a claim to the Steelers' starting job. Even when Roethlisberger was hurt, he split time at quarterback with Duck Hodges, in part because of injuries to Rudolph and solid play by Hodges.
Still, Tomlin hasn't ruled Rudolph out of the competition. He has praised the veteran at times in the offseason. He noted in late May that Rudolph was handling himself well in the quarterback battle.
He's taken advantage of the opportunities. He's been detailed. He's doing a good job of communicating with others. He's been competitive. Not anything out of the usual in terms of his approach to business.
Tomlin not only likes Rudolph's approach, but he also noted in his August interview with CBS Sports that Rudolph "throws a really good deep ball." That has been enough to keep him in the competition, and his veteran status has given him the No. 2 spot on the depth chart ahead of Pickett.
Still, Rudolph seems like the longest shot of the three to win the starting job. He might not even make the Steelers' roster if Trubisky and Pickett show enough during the preseason. Pittsburgh can save $3 million by parting with Rudolph.
Who is starting the Steelers' first preseason game?
Trubisky is expected to start the Steelers' first preseason game, but all of Pittsburgh's quarterbacks are expected to see action in Week 1 of the preseason. Tomlin hasn't said whether the rotation will change in preseason Week 2.
Cam Heyward: Roethlisberger Comments ‘Rub Me the Wrong Way’ .
The Steelers captain “took offense” to the former quarterback’s comments about current players’ “me-type attitude.” View the original article to see embedded media. Ben Roethlisberger is just a few months into retirement, but he’s already ruffling feathers with former Steelers teammates. In a Friday interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the future Hall of Famer said that he doesn’t like what he perceived as a shift from a “team-first” attitude among NFL players when he began his career to players being more focused on themselves.“I feel like the game has changed.