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QB Battle: Kenny Pickett vs. Mitch Trubisky

The 2022 NFL offseason might go down as one of the biggest and craziest offseason of all time with big time players all over the league now wearing new threads for the 2022-23 NFL season.  Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, and Khalil Mack are just a few of the names that have changed the landscape of the NFL for years to come. 

That being said, teams like the Broncos, Browns, Commanders, and Colts have landed quarterbacks to lead their franchise.  But when there is movement, there comes a moment of opportunity for other players.  There are three teams in the league with an opening at the quarterback position, one is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Steelers: Mitch Trubisky vs. Kenny Pickett

The Steelers quarterback competition this summer is between Mitch Trubisky and rookie, Kenny Pickett. These quarterbacks have to fill the shoes of Hall of Fame quarterback and Steelers legend, Ben Roethlisberger, all while being coached by one the toughest coaches in the league, Mike Tomlin.

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Let’s first start with Trubisky.  The former second overall pick has found himself a new home in Pittsburgh after starting his career with the Bears, taking them one time to playoffs in 2018, and then landing with the Bills last season to back up Josh Allen, which did not result in much playing time.  

Trubisky now finds himself with an opportunity to be a starter with solid weapons around him starting with 2021 breakout player Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, second round pick wide-out George Pickens, Najee Harris in the backfield, and Pat Freiermuth at the tight end spot.  All the while Mike Tomlin, the man who has never coached a losing season, will be at the helm once again.  I think it is safe to say that this is the best situation that Trubisky has been presented his whole career.  Trubisky has legitimate passing options (which he lacked in Chicago), a steady run game, a talented defense primed for a turnaround in 2022, and (let’s just say it) a coach that is way better and more experienced than Matt Nagy.

Trubisky said at the start of training camp, “I knew coming into the situation, wherever I went I was going to go to have to come in and compete.”

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On the other hand, the Steelers also have 2022 first round pick Kenny Pickett.  Make no mistake, the Steelers drafted Pickett at that selection to be the starter for the Steelers for years to come.  But we all know how tough it is to make that transition from college into the NFL and there’s no reason for the Steelers to rush this process, unless Tomlin feels he is ready.  Learning from a veteran like Trubisky and having Tomlin as the head coach, Pickett’s first season could be a success and beneficial without ever taking a snap when under the wing of those two guys. 

If Tomlin and the Steelers start to see Trubisky slipping into his old ways like he was in Chicago after 4-5 weeks, then a potential switch to Pickett would be a viable option for Tomlin to consider for his team.

Tomlin, when asked about finding the successor to Big Ben he said, “I’m excited about being uncomfortable. Yeah, we might not have the type of quarterback play that we’ve had, we might not have the special talent that we’ve had, but we got capable dudes.  And we’ve got a team” (Sports Illustrated).

Pickett is currently at the top spot to win Offensive Rookie of the Year with +500 odds, despite Tomlin not making an official ruling on the Week 1 starter. 

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