There’s no hidden secret to what the Pittsburgh Steelers are doing to determine the QB1 spot for the upcoming 2022 season. Head Coach Mike Tomlin has stated time and time again that this is an open competition, the Steelers started the current quarterback rotation based on each quarterback’s professional resume. So, there’s no surprise that veteran free agent-signee QB Mitch Trubisky started training camp in Latrobe as the de facto QB1. He’s won games in the NFL and he took the Chicago Bears to the playoffs in the 2018 and 2020 seasons. However, just because the team started the QB competition this way, doesn’t necessarily mean they will end up in the same rotation.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Officially Announces Mitch Trubisky As Saturday’s Clear Starter; Mason Rudolph Will Be The No. 2
Tomlin and the Steelers released their initial depth chart over a week ago and that of course, had everyone talking about the QB position even more. Don’t put too much stock into that depth chart just yet, though.
“I only provide depth charts because I have to.” – Mike Tomlin
Each Steelers quarterback, Trubisky, “Hometown Hero” Kenny Pickett, and veteran Mason Rudolph, have all had their fair share of ups and downs during training camp in Latrobe. Training camp performances are important, after all, players practice how they play, but Tomlin has emphasized the quality of play in preseason action will be the ultimate determiner in deciding the QB1 spot for the Steelers.
In a Q&A type article via Steelers.com, editor Bob Labriola asked Tomlin what the team needs to accomplish in terms of the QB battle.
“I think stepping into a stadium and putting these guys in a live pocket is a significant component of evaluating them individually and collectively and sorting out this battle,” Tomlin stated in his answer. “You practice in drill-like settings and it’s football-like, but it’s not football. We’re going to be prudent and smart in terms of the protection of the quarterback and keeping a clean pocket in a practice setting.”
“The live pocket component of preseason football is significant,” Tomlin reiterated. “Their ability to make timely decisions under those circumstances is critical. Their ability to protect the football and themselves, their ability to move their units under those circumstances is really telling, and I’m excited about watching those guys display their skills and talent within the confines of a stadium.”
Tomlin was then asked if how the training camps were divvied out means that it’s Trubisky’s job to lose.
“No, that just indicates that was the premise that we chose to start with,” Tomlin clarified via Steelers.com. “You have to start somewhere, and I was very transparent and open with these guys. Mitch has the most established professional football resume among the group, and so I just thought that was respectful and appropriate in terms of beginning. Mason is second, and obviously Kenny doesn’t have a professional resume to speak of. So that’s the premise in which we begin and have begun this process.”
“I meant what I said when I said I wasn’t going to be blowing in the wind in terms of the reps, that the depth chart doesn’t ride on every throw,” Tomlin continued. “I think you cut their leadership legs out from under them when you have that mentality. And so, we’re going through this process, and the quality of the play, particularly in-stadium, will determine how it unfolds moving forward.”
Preseason action gets underway on Saturday evening at 7PM eastern as the Steelers take on the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium. Tomlin has placed extreme emphasis on the quarterback play for this preseason. The quarterbacks’ preseason performances will weigh on Tomlin heavily as he ultimately decides the winner for this coveted Steelers QB1 spot!