Training camp is officially underway for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the quarterback battle is heating up, but don’t tell that to Mark Kaboly, senior writer for The Athletic. Kaboly spoke on The Pat McAfee Show Thursday about the quarterback competition and wasn’t shy when it came to his thoughts about who should be taking the starting snaps. He told us all that fifth-year man, Mitch Trubisky will be the starter to begin the season while Kenny Pickett will be watching from the sideline.
“… I don’t think that Kenny Pickett has a chance at starting day one.”
It doesn’t seem that Kaboly is high on Pickett as others may be, but he has solid points.
“He handles himself great, but throwing the ball so far hasn’t been great,” adding that he was coming off his first ever practice so he wasn’t at his best. “He was off a little bit… he threw one interception to end the practice, but once again, it’s one day.”
What About Mason Rudolph?
Kaboly went on to mention that Mason Rudolph’s chances of seeing any sort of action this season are slim, to none.
“You got a free agent quarterback that you brought in that has some experience and some success and you got the 20th overall pick. Who’s going to get the most opportunities here – those two guys – Mason is not going to be around next year.”
Kaboly goes on to say that the only realm of possibility for Rudolph to see any sort of action would be for Trubisky to get hurt and Pickett will have to show that he’s incapable of picking up the offense.
As for Pickett seeing the field at all in 2022, Kaboly says that remains a possibility.
“History says eventually those first-round picks get in their year one, so I wouldn’t totally write Pickett off for the entire year, but I can’t see a way that Trubisky is not starting the season in Cincinnati.”
Kaboly believes he’ll play, but it’s a matter of when that will happen. So far in camp, Pickett has been taking third-team reps.
So When Will We See Pickett Starting for the Steelers?
The Steelers open up the season in a gauntlet, playing three games in 11 days with the Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots and the Cleveland Browns on the schedule. Kaboly hints to McAfee that Week 4 could be time for the Pickett party.
“That could be a jumping-off point going in from the Cleveland Thursday night game to Week 4.”
When Head Coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Pickett’s progression so far in camp, he says he’s paying attention to his accuracy and taking care of the ball.
“I don’t have any level of concern about those things being in his wheelhouse,” Tomlin adds.
Coach Tomlin told reporters earlier this week that he doesn’t want to “micromanage” the quarterback competition and that the depth chart will not depend on every throw that each quarterback makes.
So far in camp, Coach Tomlin has been working out all four quarterbacks, Trubisky, Pickett, Rudolph, and Chris Oladokun so he and the rest of the coaching staff can fully evaluate the talent. As the depth chart stands right now, ESPN has Trubisky as QB1 and Rudolph slotted in behind him at second-string. Pickett and Oladokun follow as the third and fourth-string, respectively.
Trubisky has looked good in the short time camp has been open and NFL Network insider, Mike Garafolo believes this is Trubisky’s opportunity to revive his career with the Steelers.
From Inside Training Camp Live on @nflnetwork: Mike Tomlin is confident in “Money” Mitch Trubisky, who has a chance to cash in on an opportunity to reset his career with the #Steelers. pic.twitter.com/DrkaLN9qnu
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 27, 2022
The Steelers open the season on Sept. 11 on the road against the Bengals who are coming off a Super Bowl berth. There is plenty of time between now and then, but Steeler Nation should expect to see Trubisky as the starting quarterback to start the season. The Steelers have the NFL’s hardest schedule in 2022 per NFL.com, so whenever Pickett gets his moment, it won’t be easy.
Do you think Pickett will be the starter at some point this season? Let us know in the comments section, below!