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Steelers OC Matt Canada: QB Depth Clear, Mitch Trubisky at Top



PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are still in flux after losing Ben Roethlisberger to retirement. As such, the Steelers quarterback room looks almost entirely different at the outset of this season. However, the depth chart thus far is very clearly defined after adding Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett.

Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada did not hold back when he noted just how rigid that depth chart is right now. Certainly, there are limited opportunities for the rookies Pickett and Chris Oladokun at this stage. Mike Tomlin, however, is the one that is making sure the depth chart stays as right as it is, according to Canada.

“Coach has been very clear that Mitch (Trubisky) is one,” Canada said. “He’s working with the ones and doing a really good job with that.  Mason (Rudolph) is the two and Kenny (Pickett) is the three.  We are working it that way based on experience, based on resume.  Coach made that decision. We have been very clear what that is. We have also been very clear this is a real laid-out plan of how we are going to evolve and find who our quarterback is going to be for the 2022 season.  That’s where we are with it.”

Canada knows that the Steelers are going to follow the guidelines to a certain point. It gives the media a lot to talk about as well, and many have been up in arms about Pickett’s position on the depth chart. Still, Canada is not sweating that, either. The Steelers are simply searching for the best quarterback, and if Pickett shows enough, he will move up the depth chart as he pleases. The depth chart could see a reshuffling after the mandatory minicamp.

“For us, you want to find the best guy,” Canada said. “However, what makes him the best? Does he take care of the ball, is it plays in the red zone, how he leads the team, and all those things? That’s a Coach Tomlin decision. We are making that decision every day. Right now, that plan is so clear. We’re putting in our offense and lots of our offense. We are going to try to find who does special intangible things. Through all of that, we’ll find our guy.”

Mike Sullivan likes what he is seeing from the guys within the competition. The quarterbacks are openly supporting each other. It is a healthy competition, not one where there is a ruthless mentality. Trubisky has stepped up as a leader. Rudolph is passing his wisdom down. Pickett is carrying himself as a leader. Even Oladokun is picking up on the playbook faster than anyone thought he would. It is a promising start that the Steelers hope leads to even more success in the season. In order to find the best quarterback, it may be those little intricacies that could separate one quarterback from another.
“There’s no replacing Ben,” Sullivan said. “Ben was a future Hall of Famer, two-time Super Bowl winner, and he was a veteran who was great to watch and learn from. Now, you come to this group from different backgrounds and levels of experience, it is an opportunity to have a chance to be the starter. They are trying to be themselves, not trying to be somebody else. I tell them that all the time. We have to try to continue to do our best job teaching. These guys have been so supportive of one another. It has really helped this room grow already.”
The question will become just who emerges from this group. While Trubisky is the early favorite, Pickett has the draft investment on his side. Meanwhile, Rudolph has the system familiarity on his side. It will take potentially up to the opening day to decide who will start, but the Steelers are going to search for their golden one.

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