Pittsburgh Steelers to start Mitch Trubisky over Mason Rudolph, Kenny Pickett in preseason opener

0
25


LATROBE, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers have named a starting quarterback for their preseason opener, with coach Mike Tomlin going with Mitch Trubisky over Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett.

The order for the Saturday game against the Seattle Seahawks reflects how the Steelers have divided reps throughout camp. Trubisky has taken almost all of the first-team reps, while Rudolph and Pickett have alternated second- and third-string periods.

“I wasn’t gonna be blowing in the wind regarding quarterback rotation,” Tomlin said. “We’ve been thoughtful about giving guys an opportunity to work in different groups, but our intentions are to play them this first time out very much the way we started this process.”

The order was largely expected and signals that the 2017 first-round pick has the inside track to the starting job, but the backup role is still a toss-up between Rudolph and Pickett. And though all three will get an opportunity to play Saturday, the Steelers won’t be fully opening the playbook.

“We’re not trying to show everything, especially the first preseason game, which is why you want to go out there, and it’s all about execution,” Trubisky said. “It can be a basic play, but it can work really good if all 11 guys are on the same page. So we’re obviously not gonna show everything. It might be a little more basic.”

Tomlin indicated that the division of labor Saturday will be fluid, but the first group is expected to play the first quarter, followed by the second group for the second and third quarters and the third group going in the fourth quarter.

For the rookie Pickett, playing against an NFL defense is a significant checkpoint in evaluating his progress.

“This guy hadn’t been in a live pocket yet,” Tomlin said. “None of the quarterbacks have, and that component of it is significant in terms of their play, their ability to operate and make decisions in a timely manner, their ability to absorb the punishment. It comes with the game and the position. It’s so much involved in live quarterback play, their ability to protect the football. And so it’s a big opportunity for him and others.”



Source : ESPN