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Former Steelers OC Chan Gailey Thinks It’s Best for 1st Round QB’s like Kenny Pickett to Sit a Year

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Former Steelers OC Chan Gailey Thinks It’s Best for 1st Round QB’s like Kenny Pickett to Sit a Year

The Pittsburgh Steelers arrived in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College on Tuesday to get training camp underway. The biggest question for the Steelers entering camp is obviously going to be who will come out on top as QB1. Veteran free agent signee, QB Mitch Trubisky seems to be the most likely candidate at the position currently, but looks to fend off incumbent Mason Rudolph and rookie first rounder Kenny Pickett for the chance to be under center for the black and gold in the 2022 season.

The battle is set to start out with the pecking order being the same as it was during Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) and minicamp.

Steelers Kenny Pickett Mitch Trubisky Mason Rudolph

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks participate in Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) Thursday May 26, 2022 at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. (Abigail Dean/Pittsburgh Steelers)

Members of the team’s coaching staff haven’t really gone into detail about how things will transpire in this thrilling quarterback competition yet, but when Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada was asked about it during the spring, the pecking order was clear.

“I think Coach [Mike Tomlin] has been very clear that Mitch is No. 1, working with the ones and doing a really good job with that. Mason is No. 2, and Kenny is No. 3 and we are working that way based on experience, based on résumé.”

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin Relays That He’s Definitely Not Going to “Micromanage” the QB1 Battle

Steelers Mike Tomlin

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“And I’ll say this because I understand that’s the elephant in the room, we’re not going to micromanage or over-manage this quarterback competition,” Tomlin said during his presser on Tuesday. “The depth chart will not rest on every throw. I know that [the media] will want to ask me every day and every throw, but we’re going to be a little bit more steady than that.”

“I think it’s important from a leadership perspective to not over-manage it, to not be too impulsive. So that’s what I’ve relayed to those guys, and our actions will continue to display that mindset.”

You have to start somewhere and it seems to be the “Steelers Way” to have a veteran at the position to at least start out training camp. So, as it currently sits, it’s Trubisky at QB1 for the franchise.

Will that remain the same? Steelers’ former offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey, who was on the coaching staff the last time the team started a training camp with a three-way QB competition in 1996, spoke about the franchise’s dilemma at the QB1 spot on 93.7 The Fan.

“It is really hard,” Gailey stated on the radio show about managing a three-way QB competition. “You know it’s easy to go with one quarterback, everybody knows who the starter is, everybody knows who the backup is, and everybody else is trying to become the practice squad guy, the fourth guy. But, when you have three guys, you really don’t have a definitive answer walking into training camp. It’s hard to give three guys enough reps for everybody to feel good about the situation.”

“In general, you probably have to narrow it down as soon as you possibly can,” Gailey continued.

Will the Steelers take Gailey’s advice and turn this into a two-man competition as quickly as they can in training camp as the 1996 team did with Kordell Stewart? Gailey went on to say they “planted it” into Stewart’s mind that the ’96 season might not be his year to be QB1 and he took over the position the following year.

On if Pickett should sit and develop in his rookie season, Gailey explained:

“I think different quarterbacks you handle differently,” Gailey stated. “There’s no cookie cutter way to handle a guy.”

“I think on the whole, if a guy can sit for a year, that’s best for him,” Gailey continued discussing rookie QBs.

Steelers Kenny Pickett Mitch Trubisky

Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers


What are yinz thoughts on Gailey’s comments about Pickett sitting this season? Let us know in the comment section below, or on FacebookTwitter, and/or Instagram!


I'm a lifelong Steelers fan who always has plenty to discuss when it comes to the Black and Gold! #HereWeGo! Check out my Twitter: @CJLester58 #SteelerNation

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