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NFL Analyst Doesn’t Believe Steelers 1st-Round QB Kenny Pickett Can Win Starting Job Right Away in Thrilling Battle

Brandon Sloter / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL Analyst Doesn’t Believe Steelers 1st-Round QB Kenny Pickett Can Win Starting Job Right Away in Thrilling Battle

You’ve probably read hundreds of stories already on the Pittsburgh Steelers QB situation this off-season. Since it’s the first time in a long 18 years that Steeler Nation doesn’t know who the starting QB will be entering a season, it is an intriguing topic of discussion for many networks.

Free agent signee looking to change his career trajectory, Mitch Trubisky reportedly received most of the team’s first team reps during Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) and minicamp this spring. He looks to beat out incumbent Mason Rudolph and first round rookie QB and “Hometown Hero” Kenny Pickett when training camp gets underway on July 26th in Latrobe.

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)

In a segment on NFL Network on Thursday, NFL analyst Brian Baldinger joined the network to break down the current QB situation and the battle that has headlined many articles and TV segments this off-season. Fellow analyst Gregg Rosenthal started off the conversation before asking Baldinger his opinion.

“That’s one of the reasons I’m watching the first week, two weeks of practices in Pittsburgh to see if Mike Tomlin changes up what he did in the OTA sessions,” Rosenthal stated referencing that Rudolph received more first team reps than Pickett this spring. “It was kind of a quiet story that Trubisky got all the first team reps and next in line was Rudolph, and the next was Pickett. On paper, Pickett was maybe the most pro-ready of these rookie quarterbacks, but pro ready for a rookie is all relative.”

Rosenthal was referencing the pecking order fans and analysts saw this past spring. The Steelers coaching staff refused to give us any detail on how this competition was shaping up during that time. However, Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada gave us the most vague answer of how things transpired during OTA’s and minicamp:

“I think Coach [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.”

Back to the NFL Network segment, Rosenthal asked Baldinger his opinion on the Steelers QB battle, “And I’m curious, Baldy, if you think Pickett can play well enough over the next month to win this job, because I think he’s got an uphill battle,” after saying that Pickett got drafted based solely on his last collegiate season at the University of Pittsburgh.

Steelers Kenny Pickett Mitch Trubisky

Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers

“Well, his draft stock shot up considerably, and the team responded,” Baldinger stated. “That’s the other thing. I mean, Pitt won the ACC there and that’s his division, so they responded to his performance. Now, the one thing about this whole training camp thing, they’re not scrimmaging anybody, right Gregg? You’re going to go off three preseason games.

How many snaps does Trubisky get? I mean, the deficiencies in Mitch Trubisky in Chicago over four years was that it wasn’t really clear if he could really decipher defenses, nowhere to go with the ball, all those kinds of things. I don’t know that you can find those things if he’s improved just in training camp practices, it might have to go into the season, and you might have to weigh his performance in real games before they make a real decision.”

Baldinger is right. This battle could go into the season and if Trubisky is named the starter, he very well could be on an incredibly short leash. Fans could be shouting for the team to insert Pickett as soon as Trubisky makes a mistake.

“I don’t believe Kenny Pickett is going to win this job in the month of August just because he’s probably not going to get the necessary reps or the time with the number one team to make that evaluation.” Baldinger finished his answer.

However, as we get into the season, other analysts think Pickett will get a chance at least by mid-season.


NFL Analyst Predicts Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky will Struggle and be Replaced Midseason in 2022


Steelers Kenny Pickett Rookie Minicamp

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (#8) practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex during rookie minicamp, Friday, May 13, 2022 in Pittsburgh, PA. (Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers)

 

What do yinz think about Baldinger’s comments on the Steelers QB battle? Let us know in the comment section below, or on FacebookTwitter, and/or Instagram!

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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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