Quarterbacks Headline Pittsburgh Steelers Preseason Finale
The Pittsburgh Steelers training camp has been an open battle for the starting quarterback position, which appears to be Mitch Trubisky’s job to lose.
Trubisky is set to start the team’s preseason finale when the club hosts the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon, while rookie Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph will also see action. All three quarterbacks have played to their strengths throughout training camp and in-game action, making Mike Tomlin happy with how the competition has played out.
Reports have surfaced that teams are calling the Steelers about Rudolph, which correlates with some injuries around the league and the player likely being destined for the third-string position on the roster.
Trubisky has taken most of the first-team reps during training camp, which he earned with his performance. While it’s difficult to rely on him to be consistent in what should be a challenging AFC North, it’s entirely realistic for him to come in and be an upgrade on what the team had been getting from Ben Roethlisberger over the final years of his illustrious career.
The biggest thing that needs to be looked at is the offensive line. The Steelers went out during the offseason and added Mason Cole and James Daniels, which should help as they continue to acclimate with their new team. It’s unlikely to be a smooth transition early on with a combination of new starters and youngsters trying to get a hold of the league. Still, the new look line should be able to do a better job protecting their quarterback than they have over the last few seasons.
Even with Trubisky looking competent in camp, Pickett has continued to improve, potentially creating a scenario where he could emerge as the starter should the veteran stumble.
Another rookie creating buzz for the Steelers in August is George Pickens, who’s been a surprise performer despite his draft position in the second round. The 6’3 wide receiver has shown his playmaking skills, the ability to win 1-on-1 battles and create separation, which has helped land Chase Claypool in more of a slot role.
With playmakers all over the field in Pittsburgh, the offensive line should be the key to whether or not this offense can perform at a sustainable rate in 2022.
Najee Harris is looking to improve on his rookie season, where he tallied ten touchdowns and 1,647 all-purpose yards. Even with those solid numbers, Harris averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but more veterans and experience on the line should help create more space for the supremely talented Alabama product.
One thing’s for sure with the Steelers right now, training camp has shown that there’s talent on offense here, but the real test will be when the games start to count on Week 1 when they visit the reigning AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.
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