The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Detroit Lions this Sunday in their NFL Preseason finale, and while the majority of fans are anxious to see the end result, there is a trio of quarterbacks who await a decision.
The decision being the one made by Mike Tomlin as to who will be the team’s quarterback come Week 1 when the team travels to play the division rival Cincinnati Bengals. Most would assume Mitch Trubisky is the front-runner. After all, Trubisky has been getting the vast majority of first team reps since he was signed as a free agent this offseason. Minicamp, Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and training camp, Trubisky has been the unofficial QB1 on the team.
But rookie Kenny Pickett certainly hasn’t made any decision easy. In fact, Pickett’s play has resulted in Tomlin stating he won’t be making a final decision until after the Week 3 preseason game Sunday. For anyone who has watched the Steelers this preseason, you have witnessed Pickett getting more comfortable with the Matt Canada offense.
“I’m comfortable with the offense,” said Pickett. “Playing fast, trusting my eyes and my feet are tied together. I’m going through my reads and my progressions and just getting the ball out of my hands fast. So, I’m happy with how I progressed that way throughout camp. We want to keep it going throughout this last game.
“The more you play in an offense, the more comfortable you get. The more reps I’ve been getting, the more continuity with my teammates. I think it’s just seeing that kind of improvement.”
When it comes to reps, Pickett has gone from getting the scraps during camp practices to working with the starters in the preseason. While recognizing those repetitions are valuable, Pickett will take whatever he can get in his first professional season.
“Whatever reps I do get, I’m excited to go out there and have the last preseason game and just kind of build off the progress I have made throughout camp,” said Pickett. “I thought it was a really successful camp just growing and getting used to the offense, getting the hang of the NFL speed. I’m excited to go out there one more time.”
Of course, who the Steelers choose as the quarterback is out of Pickett’s control, but he is smart enough to know the decision won’t be based on one game. Instead, it will be on an entire body of work this offseason.
“It definitely does not come down to one game,” said Pickett. “It’s over a period of work. The last month we’ve been grinding it out. I just want to put my best foot forward, play as hard as I can like I always do, and let the chips fall where they may.”
Pickett is a team-first player, and the Steelers have seen glimpses of what he can, and will eventually, bring to the team’s offense as the quarterback. At this point, the question isn’t if Pickett will be the next quarterback of the Steelers, but when.
It could be as soon as Week 1 of the regular season.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the preseason.