After four months of competition including weeks of training camp and three preseason games, the Pittsburgh Steelers appear to have their man to start under center for Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers released an updated depth chart Monday — six days away from the season opener — and listed Mitchell Trubisky atop the quarterback position. In reality, this isn’t a shocking revelation. Trubisky entered camp as the starter and never relinquished it.
Trubisky, though, was asked Monday after being voted a team captain if it was safe to assume he’d be the guy.
“You can assume anything you want,” Trubisky said, via ESPN. “I mean, nah, the announcement will come out when it needs to come out, but you’re not gonna hear from me. And we just go about our business.”
Trubisky, 28, inked a two-year, $14.285 million deal with the Steelers this past offseason. The former Chicago Bear and Buffalo Bill came over with an opportunity to be Ben Roethlisberger’s successor, who played 18 seasons in Pittsburgh. To do that, he needed to fend off Mason Rudolph and 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett.
Pickett, the Pitt product, provided the stiffest competition. In three preseason games, Pickett completed 29-of-36 passes for 261 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. His 124.7 passer rating paced all rookie quarterbacks. Trubisky, however, was just as effective. He went 24-of-34 for 283 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Ben Roethlisberger Chimes in on Quarterback Competition
His play led him to earning the vote of confidence from Roethlisberger himself.
“In my opinion, I think Mitchell Trubisky is the starter,” Roethlisberger recently said on the ‘Footbahlin’ podcast. “He should start. I think he’s a veteran, he’s been around for a while. He gives you, in my opinion, the best chance to win right now.”
The decision, meanwhile, remains up to head coach Mike Tomlin, who will speak with the media on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh Steelers Taking Things Slow With Kenny Pickett
There was some who felt Pickett had a chance to supplant Trubisky after his dazzling showcase in the preseason. Based on the depth chart, it would appear the Steelers will be taking things slow with their rookie gunslinger. Rudolph, entering his fourth season in the NFL, is No. 2 on the depth chart.
It might come as a surprise — but if you’ve paid attention to what the Steelers’ coaching staff has said during the process — it’s not. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada had strong praise for Rudolph in the beginning stages of camp back in July.
“Mason’s getting the second reps right now, almost equal to, maybe slightly less than Mitch,” Canada said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “He’s being given a very fair shot. To this point in camp, it might have been exactly equal. Mason has made a lot of plays at times, he’s played very well at times for us. He’s got a great shot at it. … His history with our plays, with our system, is a positive for him.”