UNITY TWP., Pa. — There will be no changes to the Steelers’ quarterback depth chart when the team gets together for its first training camp practice on Wednesday, head coach Mike Tomlin announced.
That means, at least to start training camp, free agent acquisition Mitch Trubisky will work with the first team, incumbent backup Mason Rudolph will work with the second team and rookie first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett will run the third team.
Tomlin’s reasoning for the unchanged nature of his depth chart was that the Steelers do not consider the spring to be a competitive environment. OTAs and minicamp are for learning. It’s not until training camp that the competition really begins.
But with that being said, don’t expect those three to be flip-flopping daily depending on who had the best performance the previous practice.
“We’re not going to micro-manage or over-manage this quarterback competition,” Tomlin said. “The depth chart will not rest on every throw. I know that you guys will want to ask me every day and every throw. But we’re going to be a little bit more steady than that. I think it’s important from a leadership perspective to not over-manage it. To not be too impulsive. So that’s what I’ve relayed to those guys and our actions will continue to display that mindset.”
Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher said earlier this offseason that running a true competition between three quarterbacks can be a challenge, referring to his experience with a three-way battle to replace Neil O’Donnell. But Tomlin said he’s “not concerned” about that.
“We’ve got four quarterbacks. We generally run in three groups. So there’s some things to manage from a rep standpoint, but again, that has been the case for the 15 or 16 years I’ve been here.”
The big question about this offseason for the Steelers is who emerges as the starting quarterback. But another interesting question is whether the team got it right …