Mike Tomlin is nothing if not a media darling. With memorable catchphrases known as “Tomlinisms” and a special way with words, people can always find something to appreciate about his press conferences. The great coach, however, is being intentionally quiet on the winner of this summer’s quarterback battle.
The Quarterback Battle
The Pittsburgh Steelers had several candidates emerge to replace Big Ben Roethlisberger this offseason. Roethlisberger’s longtime backup, Mason Rudolph, is ready to show he deserves a promotion. Former second-overall pick Mitch Trubisky gets a fresh start in the Steel City after an inconsistent tenure in Chicago. Hometown hero and rookie Kenny Pickett is hungry to show the nineteen teams that didn’t draft him why they made a huge mistake.
Throughout training camp and preseason, each quarterback has showcased their talents. Trubisky has shown himself to be the best deep threat. Although he struggles with consistency, he has a good deep ball when he’s tuned in. Pickett debuted as one of the most accurate rookie quarterbacks ever, having the best completion percentage on the team. Rudolph is also accurate but lacks pocket presence and awareness. He also does not have a deep threat component to his game.
The media has hounded Mike Tomlin all offseason to name a starting quarterback. He has remained quiet. The winner of the quarterback battle will have a target on their back. They will be the next face of the franchise, the first quarterback to start in the black and yellow after Hall-of-Famer Ben Roethlisberger stepped down. This is an undesirable amount of pressure, particularly with how vocal Steelers fans can be.
Tomlin has played his cards close to his chest. When ESPN’s Brooke Pryor asked him to name a starter this week, Tomlin told her he may have an answer next week. “I might [have decided a winner] but you guys aren’t going to know it today,” smirked the head coach. This is confusing for the Steelers’ early opponents, who aren’t sure whether to prepare for the accurate Pickett or the explosive Trubisky.
In all likelihood, this is Mitch Trubisky’s job to lose. The veteran signed to a two-year, fourteen million dollar deal this offseason and Pittsburgh won’t want to waste their money. Trubisky will likely be a placeholder for Pickett until the rookie is ready for the future…or until the vet proves he can no longer win football games. Steelers insiders have seemingly confirmed all summer long that this is Trubisky’s job to lose. Guard Kevin Dotson told the media early on in training camp that Mitch was slated to start for them.
Has Trubisky done enough to earn the job? Will he be unseated by the poised Pickett this season? Can Trubisky still play winning football at a Pro Bowl level? These questions will surely answer themselves this season, but not before Tomlin has to announce to the media he has committed to a starter.
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE