Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Preview: Trubisky or Pickett?

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be back at Saint Vincent College for training camp for the first time since the pandemic, where players will report on July 26. Below, let’s dive into some key storylines ahead of the Steelers camp opening. 

Key Storylines and Additions

1) Big Ben Successor: There are a lot of questions heading into this training camp for the Steelers, with the biggest surrounding the starting quarterback competition. The Steelers are appointing a new signal caller for the first time since Ben Roethlisberger took the starting job in 2004. Three names will be in the mix for the coveted position, led by free agent signing Mitch Trubisky and first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett. Mason Rudolph is a long shot, but he’s still included in the conversation with no clear-cut pecking order established yet.

The Steelers punched their playoff ticket on the last night of NFL action in 2021, so improved play at the quarterback position should go a long way in reestablishing this team as a threat in the powerful AFC North. Trubisky will need to falter, while Pickett needs a breakout camp for the rookie to steal the job. If that doesn’t happen, the Steelers will likely rely on their strong defense and the moderately higher floor Trubisky offers. 

The quarterback battle will dominate headlines, and Pittsburgh’s success will likely come down to how much production they have at the critical position. 

2) In the Trenches: Adding James Daniels and Mason Cole should help give whoever is passing the ball more time in the pocket. Adding to the offensive line will also help sophomore running back Najee Harris. He recorded ten all-purpose touchdowns in his rookie season but struggled in efficiency averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. Improvement on the line should help bolster his numbers, and how this new look offensive line gels will be things to watch through training camp.

3) D-Fence: The defense should still be as ferocious as ever, led by 2022 Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt. Free agent signings Myles JackLevi Wallace, and Larry Ogunjobi should help bolster an already strong unit. 

Key Departures

The Steelers lost one of their top slot weapons in JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason to the Kansas City Chiefs, while Stephon Tuitt officially retired. In addition, the defense lost Joe Haden in the secondary, but the other two losses are more likely felt this season. 

The Steelers will likely live and die by their defense this year, which is why everyone will be focused on the offense in training camp. If things click and one of their potential quarterbacks can emerge as a viable starter, the Steelers could keep things competitive in an already stacked AFC North.