Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has finally broken his silence regarding the team’s quarterback competition.
Mitch Trubisky will be the Steelers’ starter Sunday when they open the season at the Cincinnati Bengals, Tomlin confirmed in a press conference on Tuesday, a day after Trubisky was voted one of the team’s five captains.
"We're just really comfortable with what Mitch has shown us," Tomlin said. "He's a guy that came to us with franchise quarterback experience. He's comfortable in those shoes. He's been the focal point of a football team, in the organization before. He's had success in doing so.
"Like I mentioned when we acquired him, he took the Bears to the playoffs two out of four years. He has a winning record as a starting quarterback. Those things were attractive to us.
"His athleticism and mobility were attractive to us. He took care of the football in-stadium, all our quarterbacks did."
Trubisky won the job over 2022 first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett, who was confirmed to be the number two option. Mason Rudolph, who is entering his fourth season in Pittsburgh, is listed third on the depth chart.
The number two overall pick in 2016 by the Chicago Bears, Trubisky spent last season backing up Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills and signed a two-year, $14 million deal with the Steelers this offseason after the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger.
A little over a month after signing Trubisky, the Steelers used the number 20 overall pick on Pickett, who played at the University of Pittsburgh.
While it is no surprise to see the Steelers starting the more experience quarterback to start the season, many pundits and Steelers fans alike wonder if Pickett’s ascension is only a matter of time.
"I thought [Pickett’s} acceleration of development really took off once we stepped into stadiums," Tomlin said. "And once we started stepping into stadiums, his decision-making – the fluidity of it – his competitive spirit, his pinpoint accuracy, all of those things I thought really came to the forefront. I thought that he grew – and grew at a really fast pace once we got into stadiums.
"And I also think it's reasonable to expect that growth and development to continue as we push into the regular season."