As the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers continue their preparation for the upcoming season, we were also graced with an official media session from head coach Mike Tomlin. For that reason, it’s time for another installment of the “players mentioned” article. Remember these are current players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.
Even though he was vague in his opening statement where he said that the Steelers will progress with their first group through the first quarter, Coach Tomlin was asked straight-up if Mitch Trubisky will be the starter on Saturday night.
Mason Rudolph & Kenny Pickett
Despite others reporting Coach Tomlin specifically saying the order of the other quarterbacks, he did not do so by name but instead implied how they plan to do things. Coach Tomlin was asked the order of the other two players at quarterback, especially since he said they were playing three quarterbacks, and when they would play.
“It’s probably the way it’s played out here to this point. Like I mentioned to you guys, I wasn’t going to be blowing in the wind regarding the quarterback rotation. We’ve been thoughtful about giving guys an opportunity to work in different groups, but our intentions are to play them this first time out very much the way we started this process.”
In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked how he measures success in the preseason for quarterbacks.
“Moving the unit and taking care of the football.”
In a later question, Coach Tomlin was asked what Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett have shown him where they could possibly earn some more first-team reps.
“They’re doing what we’re asking them to do. They’re taking care of the ball, they’re moving their units, they’re doing the unofficial things that come with the quarterback position in terms of leadership. They’re doing a nice job. Again, I’ll be quite honest with you guys, I only provide depth charts because I have to. That’s what this process is about. I think you do this process a disservice, oftentimes, when you read too much into the depth charts at this juncture, particularly when we haven’t even been in the stadium yet.”
In a later question specifically about Kenny Pickett, Coach Tomlin was asked what Pickett could learn from seeing a live NFL defense.
“A lot. This guy hasn’t been in a live pocket yet. None of the quarterbacks have, and that component of it is significant. In terms of their play, their ability to operate and make decisions in a timely manner, their ability to absorb the punishment that comes with the game and the position. There’s so much involved in live quarterback play, their ability to protect the football. It’s a big opportunity for him and others.”
The Steelers made a roster move on Wednesday which they announced Thursday morning where Ulysses Gilbert was waived/injured and the Steelers claimed outside linebacker Hamilcar Rashed off waivers. Coach Tomlin was asked what he knows about Rashed and will he be able to go onto the field soon.
“I just walked off the field with him and got to meet him a little bit. I remember when he came out in the draft, he was a guy that had our attention. He’s an outside linebacker body type. I think he had 14 sacks his junior year at Oregon State, and that captured our attention, but it’s a get to know process and we’ll be excited about giving him an opportunity to show himself to us. He’s a guy that’s not a rookie, he’s been in this thing, so I’m hopeful that he can learn fast enough to be a contributor in some form or fashion on Saturday.”
Mike Tomlin’s media session can be seen below: