The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for their second preseason game when they travel to Florida to play the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday night. In preparation for this game, Mike Tomlin met with the media Thursday to outline what the team’s plans are not just for this game, but also as they conclude their training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.
What was on most fans’ minds was how the organization would handle their quarterbacks in Week 2 of the preseason, and Tomlin confirmed it would be different.
Mitch Trubisky will start for the second week in a row, but it will be Kenny Pickett who comes in as the second quarterback instead of Mason Rudolph. Tomlin said he wants to see Pickett face more “varsity action” compared to the players he faced vs. the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1.
How much time will each quarterback get? Tomlin said the coaching staff will play it by ear, but it is expected for Pickett to be in the game by the end of the first half. Either way, Tomlin did say he expects some of the starting offensive line to remain in the game when Pickett is at quarterback.
With this being the Steelers first, and only, road game in the preseason, the team will be working on a silent count to make sure they get live game repetitions with it before the start of the regular season when they travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals in Week 1.
Outside of the quarterbacks, Tomlin said players who are healthy are expected to play. This is far from a clear-cut answer considering players like Najee Harris (foot) might be healthy but are held out for obvious reasons. Speaking of Najee Harris, Tomlin did acknowledge he wants to get some carries, something Harris publicly said after practice Wednesday, before the season opener.
Tomlin didn’t rule many players out for the upcoming game, but one player who won’t be in the game is rookie receiver Calvin Austin III (foot). Austin injured his foot the day before the game last Saturday night at Acrisure Stadium. Other players who are unlikely to play, based on their practice availability, would be:
Alex Highsmith (ribs)
Master Teague III (ankle)
Montravius Adams (ankle)
Other roster notes mentioned in the press conference would be the fact Kendrick Green is starting at left guard with Kevin Dotson still battling injuries throughout training camp. Tomlin mentioned Green’s overall availability as the primary reason for him remaining in the starting lineup.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout the preseason and take camp back to the southside UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
For a complete rundown of Mike Tomlin’s press conference, check out the Press Conference Recap podcast below: