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When Is The Best Time For Steelers’ Kenny Pickett To Make His 1st Start?

Ryan Kang / NFL

When Is The Best Time For Steelers’ Kenny Pickett To Make His 1st Start?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been busy this off-season at finding the successor for former Pittsburgh quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Early in free agency, they signed former Chicago Bears quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, who also spent time with the Buffalo Bills as a backup to Josh Allen. Pittsburgh also spent their first round pick on former Pitt quarterback, Kenny Pickett. Both of these quarterbacks Pittsburgh acquired this off-season are capable of running an NFL offense and would do so successfully.

Most of the Steeler fans out there would love to see Pickett be the Week 1 starter when Pittsburgh takes on the Cincinnati Bengals, but I personally don’t believe this would be the best option for Pittsburgh in the first week of the season.

Steelers Kenny Pickett

Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback, Kenny Pickett (#8) participates in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Thursday June 2, 2022 at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. (Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers)

Trubisky led the Bears to two playoff appearances under Matt Nagy, who was fired this off-season by the Bears. It is obvious that Trubisky is not the long-term solution at quarterback for Pittsburgh, but I do think he will be the starter for the first game of the season.

Trubisky did show promise at times while being with the Bears, especially during his Pro Bowl season in 2018 where he started 14 games and threw for 24 touchdowns. Trubisky has shown the ability to extend plays with his legs, which is something Pittsburgh has been in search of for quite a long time. I believe Trubisky is a solid choice to start the season. He is not going to blow you out of your seat with talent, but he is a good game manager, and that is all Pittsburgh really needs at the early stages of the season.

Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky takes part in the team’s OTA’s. (Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers)

Many experts have made it clear that they think Pickett was the most “pro-ready” quarterback in the 2022 Draft and can step in right away and help Pittsburgh. Although this may be true, I think Pittsburgh should take a step back and make sure that Pickett is 100 percent ready to lead an NFL offense. Pickett, like Trubisky, is a game manager when it comes to quarterback play. He does have incredible talent, illusiveness in the pocket, and the ability to extend plays, but where Pickett separates himself from the others on the depth chart is his football I.Q. Steeler fans have heard a lot about Pickett’s football smarts and leadership ability. I believe Pickett will end up being the long-term answer for Pittsburgh and will win many games at Heinz Field, but there is no reason to rush him to the top spot on the depth chart.

A lot will go into the decision who will be the Week 1 starter in Cincinnati and it will also depends on how each quarterback looks in preseason. I would expect to see both guys get first team reps during the preseason. This will give Steeler fans a good look at what they can both do.

 

If Steelers’ Pickett is not the Week 1 starter, when is the perfect time for him to make his first start?

After looking at the schedule, I think it is best for Trubisky to start the first three weeks of the season. After Pittsburgh takes on the Bengals in the opening week of the season, they return home and play the New England Patriots for the home opener. Considering the Pittsburgh struggles against legendary coach Bill Belichick, and the possibility of home opener nerves, I think it is best for Pittsburgh to also sit Pickett in Week 2. It may be a possibility that Steelers fans see Pickett make his first start in Week 3 on Thursday Night Football when Pittsburgh plays the Cleveland Browns on the road. But with it being a short week and Pittsburgh on the road versus a division opponent, I think Trubisky will still be the best option.

Steeler fans will see Pickett make his NFL debut in Week 4 when Pittsburgh returns home and plays the New York Jets. This would give Pickett the best opportunity to ease into the NFL and get comfortable running the offense. The Jets are going to be in the bottom half of the AFC this coming season again and one of the weaker teams on Pittsburgh’s schedule. Also, considering this is going to be a game at Heinz Field (the same stadium Pickett played his home games in college), this might make him feel more comfortable when his name is called upon.

 

What do you think, Steeler Nation? When do you see Pickett becoming the starting quarterback for the Steelers? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below!

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