Steelers Quarterbacks Learning to Coexist Through Competition
UNITY TWP., Pa. — The best known and most anticipated battle of 2022 Steelers training camp will be the quarterbacks. Between Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph, the three-man race is one that will cause competition to grow amongst the group. Thus far, all of the talks from the three have all been in a friendly, competitive manner towards one another.
So, when two of the quarterbacks will room together and the other will be very close by, the isolation of Saint Vincent College will only intensify that competition. Trubisky and Rudolph will room with Pat Freiermuth and Zach Gentry. Meanwhile, Pickett will room with fellow rookie quarterback Chris Oladokun.
That rooming situation will allow the quarterbacks to get to know each other extremely well. More importantly, it will allow a competition that is breeding between the quarterbacks to potentially become even more competitive. Those quarterbacks will have to coexist and better one another. That room with Trubisky and Rudolph in the same room was handpicked by the players themselves, not made by the coaches.
“I’m rooming with Mitch, Mason, and Zach,” Freiermuth said. “We picked it. We’re all good friends.”
The tight ends rooming with the quarterbacks makes sense. But even though Pickett and Oladokun are not right in the room with Trubisky and Rudolph, their rooms are right beside each other. That will allow that competitive dynamic to grow and that team bonding to foster. That could be the very aim that the Steelers are trying to accomplish here. Pickett noted that it is a fun type of competitiveness between the quarterbacks.
“Off the field, it’s different than college here,” Pickett said. “In the Spring, you hang out with a lot of guys. In college and in here, a lot of guys come and go their separate ways home, but you have no choice but to hang out with the guys here. So, it’s tight quarters and I’m excited to get to know these guys better.”
That stands for the whole team for the new quarterbacks in Pickett and Trubisky. Within the quarterback room, there is a sense of already knowing one another. They are already trying to take each other up another notch, but that dynamic is growing to rely upon one another.
“You know, you’re a pro about it,” Pickett said. “We’re all friends and we’ll all compete. The best man is going to play. So, at the end of the day, I’m just going out there to compete and have fun with each other.”
Freiermuth and Pickett Work Together in the Break
During the one-month-long break between minicamp and training camp, most players often are away from one another. Of course, if there is a connection and the players are able to work out with one another, any bonus time together is peaches and cream. That is what happened with Pickett and Freiermuth. It just so happened that Freiermuth’s girlfriend lives about 15 minutes away from Pickett. As a result, the two got in some work during the dead period.
“His girlfriend lives about 15 minutes from where I live, so when he was in town, I knew we had to get together,” Pickett said. “That was awesome. You know, we started building some more chemistry out of that. So, it was nice to work out and throw the ball around a little bit.”
From Freiermuth’s angle as a receiver, it is even more important to learn the cadence and body language that Pickett throws. Different quarterbacks have different styles, and so the workout between Freiermuth and Pickett was more important to develop that chemistry with one another.
“I went to Jersey and worked out with Kenny for a couple of days,” Freiermuth said. “I didn’t really work out with Mason and Mitch just because of where we worked out. But it was great working out with Kenny. Gaining that chemistry and developing that bond was awesome.”
That workout could pay dividends for both Freiermuth and Pickett throughout the rest of the season as they continue to work through training camp and beyond.
Steelers Dorm Room Drama
The dorms at Saint Vincent College are different than players going home to their own place every day. From the beds to the close confinement with the teammates, the vibe is completely different in Latrobe than it is back in Pittsburgh. For many of the Steelers, this is their first time heading away from the city for training camp. That has caused a bit of shock to some of the players.
Najee Harris, who was supposed to room with the recently released Trey Edmunds will have a room to himself, but that does not mean he is too excited to sleep in a dorm. He is looking forward to the practices. Still, living in the dorms is part of the experience, and Harris is ready to endure it.
“I heard we live in dorms,” Harris said. “I know a lot of people show up out here. It’s a great place for football. The atmosphere is supposed to be great. I’m looking forward to that, but just not the dorms.”
Harris tried to get a rookie reassigned to room with him so he could take them under his wing. However, there was no going as the Steelers gave Harris his own room instead. Early in the day, Harris did not even go to his room to see what it was like. Still, Harris is looking forward to bonding with his new teammates, even if the dorm rooms are not his favorite environment.