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Mike Florio Thinks Steelers are Committed to Pickett vs. Rudolph



Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reiterated on the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday that the Pittsburgh Steelers want a Kenny Pickett-Mason Rudolph competition at quarterback. He thinks Pittsburgh doesn’t have any interest in signing an external veteran quarterback with a desire to start.

“Last week in Indianapolis, one of the things I picked up from talking with people, this isn’t some bit from the Steelers and this fits with how they are,” Florio said. “They don’t go out and make a big splash in free agency. They try to groom the guys they have.”

Florio mentioned that the Steelers gave Terry Bradshaw five years to figure out how to play quarterback in the NFL and it worked. It’s just a part of the organization’s philosophy to be patient. But, there’s no doubt about it, this is a make-or-break year for Pickett. He has to show major strides in his development in Year 3.

“So, here they are, less than two years removed from using a first-round pick on Kenny Pickett. They like what Mason Rudolph did, he’s due to become a free agent. I think they’re committed to Pickett versus Rudolph, and one of those two guys is gonna be the starter Week 1,” Florio said. “Any veteran they bring in  would just be another guy to be a part of that conversation but not a viable contender to start. And that’s why I don’t thinks Russ (Wilson) goes there ’cause he’s gonna wanna go somewhere where they roll out the red carpet and say you’re our QB1 every week of the year.”

The Steelers, who are seeking competition for incumbent starter Pickett, have been repeatedly linked as a potential free agent destination for Russell Wilson. Mike DeFabo of The Athletic said the Steelers are not   interested in Russell Wilson or Kirk Cousins and are not actively looking to trade for Justin Fields.

Steelers general manager Omar Khan said he has “full faith” in Pickett, and though they anticipate adding competition to the position this offseason, the team is excited about the future with Pickett as their starting quarterback.

“I have full faith in Kenny,” Khan said while speaking to the Pittsburgh media at the NFL Combine on Thursday. “He’s shown us some good things. Obviously, there were some issues with the offense and I’m excited about the impact that Arthur Smith is going to have on him. Arthur is very optimistic about Kenny. I know they’ve communicated. We’ll have some strong competition there and we’ll see how it goes.”