PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers will have a three-way quarterback competition when they report for practices this summer, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Thursday after the team selected Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Pickett will join Mitch Trubisky and incumbent Mason Rudolph in a revamped Steelers quarterback room, and Tomlin said the youngster will have a shot to earn the starting job along with the two veterans.
“He’ll be given an opportunity to compete, certainly,” Tomlin said, while also adding that he did not anticipating any issues with the team drafting a quarterback after signing one in free agency just a month and a half ago.
“It’s really nothing to handle,” Tomlin said. “Those guys are competitors. We’re in a competitors’ business. They understand that. They understand that we’re building the construction of the team to win. So, I’m sure they’re excited about having an opportunity to put their skills on display.”
Pickett, also, seems undaunted about the prospect of joining a quarterback room full of more experienced players and possibly becoming a backup for the first time since his freshman season in 2017.
“I’m pretty familiar with competing,” Pickett said. “I’ve been doing it my whole life. I know how to be a good teammate and also compete at the same time. I’m excited to join the quarterback room with those guys, get to know those guys, honestly just get better every day. At the end of the day, we’re all just chasing a championship. That’s what matters. That’s what I’m excited to go do.”
The Steelers will be attempting to replace Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but that’s not something that Pickett is focused on right now, either.
“I’m honestly taking it a day at time,” he said. “I’m excited to get there [Friday.] There’s a lot to go into this. I’m just excited to get to work. I’ve been working so hard for this moment. I can’t wait for it to continue and be part of the team and get right back to work.”