It’s a completely new era for Pittsburgh Steelers football without Ben Roethlisberger in the mix and while they could keep their cards close to their chest, they have been open about their plans.
Earlier this week, I wrote about how wrong fans and media (myself included) were about the quarterback battle in Pittsburgh. Mitchell Trubisky has walked away with the starting job and it’s clearly his job to lose.
But should it be?
According to The Athletic’s insider Mark Kaboly, the most deserving player for the QB1 job isn’t named Trubisky. It’s Mason Rudolph.
Camp insight from Steelers insider @MarkKaboly on @937theFan:— Matt Koll (@MKoll15) August 11, 2022
"If Mitch Trubisky wasn't a free agent QB at $15 million and Kenny Pickett wasn't a 1st round pick…if all these guys came in with blank slates right now…Mason Rudolph would be starting Week 1."
Kaboly’s comment is quite strong.
It wouldn’t be the first time an NFL team operates under the sunk cost fallacy. Football should be a meritocracy, but the truth is once a front office designates significant resources for a player, things change. In those cases, coaches are forced to take that into account, throwing the “earn it on the playing field” clichés out the window.
Ideally, the Steelers would just roll with the best quarterback. At least according to Kaboly’s opinion, they’re not doing that. That’s concerning on many levels, starting with Trubisky’s own level of play.
If true, Kaboly’s words would also explain why Rudolph has solidified his role as the backup over the first-round draft pick. Kenny Pickett – who seemed to have a shot at the starting role after being drafted in the first round – is #3 right now on the depth chart.
That’s true for the unnofficial depth chart released by the Steelers and for the reps’ distribution throughout all of training camp.
Steelers QB plan for preseason Week 1
Meanwhile, Mike Tomlin said on Thursday he expects all three quarterbacks to play on Saturday. According to the head coach, Trubisky would get a quarter of play with Rudolph taking over the second and third. That would leave Kenny Pickett with close to a quarter of play.
Tomlin insisted such a plan is flexible, but it’s pretty much in line with previous expectations.
Featured image via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports