Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has yet to announce which quarterback will debut in Week 1, but the team’s social media account may have ruined that surprise. Michelle Trubisky was named a team captain Monday, a sign that the team will get a start when it takes the field on Sunday.
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Wouldn’t be surprised if this news came out in early August. Trubisky signed with the Steelers in free agency and made all-off season appearances to be the team’s starter. While the Steelers drafted Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Pickett received third-string reps early in the camp. Barring an overwhelming preseason, it appeared that Pickett was in no danger of winning the job.
Well, Piquet delivered a strong preseason showing timing and accuracy with the Steelers’ offense. He finished the season with 261 passing yards and three touchdowns. Piquet did not throw an interception in three games. Trubisky did not perform poorly in the preseason, throwing two touchdowns without a hitch.
The Steelers gave another indication that Trubisky would start on Sunday. He is listed as the team’s No. 1 substitute on the depth chart released by the club on Monday.
Kenny Pickett will get a chance to start
Although Piquet will likely start the year on the bench, he should have the opportunity to jump into the starting lineup soon. Piquet impressed enough to put pressure on Mason Rudolph and Trubisky. Considering how good Pickett looked in the preseason, Trubisky doesn’t have much room for error. If he gets off to a slow start, Piquet could see significant playing time before the Steelers’ Week 9 bye.
It’s up to Trubisky to prove he deserves to stay in the starting lineup. Trubisky has put up solid numbers in the past, but hasn’t evolved to its No. 2 overall draft status. After leaving the Chicago Bears, Trubisky opted to sit and develop behind Josh Allen on the Buffalo Bills last season.
It’s possible that Trubisky is a new man after Matt Nagy is left behind and operating – albeit in a backup role – with a functional offense at Buffalo. If that’s the case, Piquet will be on the bench longer, but the Steelers will probably be winning the game.
But if Trubisky hasn’t progressed during his year as backup, it’s only a matter of time before Pickett moves into the starting role. Piquet put pressure on Trubisky with an excellent precision, so it’s up to Trubisky to come out early and play mistake-free football if he wants to keep the job.