Steelers’ Mike Tomlin on quarterback race: ‘We’re not going to micromanage’

Steelers’ Mike Tomlin on quarterback race: ‘We’re not going to micromanage’

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering new territory without veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the helm this season, but longtime head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t looking to “micromanage” his options in the meantime. 

Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett are in a battle for the starting job, but Tomlin said Tuesday that he wants to watch how the situation unfolds organically before making a decision ahead of Week 1. 

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) takes part in a drill with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10), Mason Rudolph (2) and Chris Oladokun (5) during the team's OTA practice at the Steelers Practice Facility in Pittsburgh on May 25, 2022. 

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) takes part in a drill with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10), Mason Rudolph (2) and Chris Oladokun (5) during the team’s OTA practice at the Steelers Practice Facility in Pittsburgh on May 25, 2022.  (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I’ll say this, because that’s the elephant in the room: We’re not going to micromanage or overmanage this quarterback competition. The depth chart will not rest on every throw,” he said. 

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“We’re going to be a little more steady than that. I think it’s important, from a leadership perspective, to not overmanage it, to not be too impulsive, and so that’s what I relayed to those guys, and our actions will continue to display that mindset.”

Trubisky, who took the lead with first-team reps during camp this offseason, bounced from the Chicago Bears to the Buffalo Bills last season, serving as a backup to Josh Allen. 

Buffalo Bills quarterback Mitchell Trubisky runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Mitchell Trubisky runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

Rudolph has been a backup for the Steelers for the last three seasons with 10 career starts.

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As for Pickett, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Tomlin likes what he’s seen so far. 

“I think that when you’re 22, 23, 24 years old and you’ve been playing quarterback all your life, you understand those informal responsibilities [of leadership] that come with the position. I’m more concerned about tangible things: accuracy, taking care of the ball, and things of that nature,” Tomlin said of the former University of Pittsburgh quarterback. 

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on before the matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 16, 2022.

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on before the matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 16, 2022. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)

“I don’t have any level of concern of those things being in his wheelhouse. I watched him do it next door, in terms of leading his guys and being what quarterbacks need to be. I don’t think that’s going to be a significant discussion.”

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Pickett’s best season at Pitt was his fifth year, during which he logged 4,319 passing yards and 42 touchdown passes, drastically increasing draft stock. 

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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