In his weekly press conference Friday afternoon, Steelers head coach Mike Tomin refused to give any indication as to the quarterback progress for Sunday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans. Tomlin did state that no players will be ruled out from participating in Nashville, and specifically mentioned that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will play in the game. As for which quarterback will take the field once Roethlisberger’s night is over, Tomlin made it clear they were not disclosing the information at this time.
“Ben will play,” Tomlin stated to the media members in attendance. “We don’t have a specific detail of division of labor at this point in terms of quarterback participation beyond that. Who’s going to play, how long they’re going to play. Our energy right now is just that first group and Ben, and getting those guys in the game and getting some exposure there and hopefully get some success and move on from there.”
When fielding a question about being ready to say who the number two quarterback will be, Tomlin jumped in to answer before the question had been completed.
“You guys can ask me every day. I’m not. I’ll let you know when I am.”
There has been a lot of speculation among media and fans in regards to the leader for the back-up quarterback position. So far in the preseason, Joshua Dobbs has completed 11 of 18 passes for 180 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. The Steelers 2018 third-string quarterback Mason Rudolph has completed 15 of 23 passes for 168 yards while throwing for two touchdowns and no interceptions. Although believed to be fighting solely for the third quarterback position, Devlin Hodges has impressed many of those following the Steelers as he has gone 10 of 18 passes for 117 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Regardless of statistics, Mike Tomlin is not ready to give any indication as to where the rest of the players stand behind Ben Roethlisberger. When asked specifically about the second quarterback coming into the game on Sunday and if he was ready to state who it would be, Tomlin gave the same answer as before.
While all three players have done enough to deserve to take the field on Sunday, there probably won’t be enough snaps for all of them to see action. When asked which quarterbacks will get playing time regardless of the order, Tomlin still was not ready to give any indication as to his plans for Sunday.
“Again, I’m not making any bold predictions about participation after that first wave because a lot of what happens depends on the quality of play and time of possession related things.”
With no specific depth chart coming from the Steelers, many were hoping the order of play in Sunday’s game would help to bring some light to the situation. Coach Tomlin dismissed the idea of Sunday’s quarterback progression being an indication of the current regular season depth chart when asked if inferences should be taken based on which player takes the field first.
“No, you should not.”
As much as Steelers’ nation wants clarification on the quarterback depth chart for 2019, the only option left is to draw our own conclusions based on in-stadium play. Make sure to tune in Sunday night as the players try to make the most of their opportunity to grab the back-up quarterback position.
In the words of Coach Tomlin, “Get your popcorn ready.”
Mike Tomlin’s full press conference can be seen here: