PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mike Tomlin is in no hurry to announce a starting quarterback. Publicly anyway.
The way the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers coach figures it, placing either Mitch Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett atop the depth chart serves no real purpose. Not well more than a week to go before Pittsburgh opens the season in Cincinnati on Sept. 11.
So while Tomlin knows he’s going to keep getting asked, he is just fine with keeping things to himself. For now.
“Who’s to say it’s not settled?” Tomlin said Tuesday. “I’m just not making any announcements.”
To reporters and, according to Trubisky, the quarterbacks either.
“He hasn’t said anything,” said Trubisky, who started all three of Pittsburgh’s preseason games after signing as a free agent in March. “It’s not a distraction to us. … When it needs to be discussed, it will be discussed. But Coach T handles his business when he needs to and we will just go about ours as well.”
All signs seem to indicate that Trubisky will become the first quarterback to start a Steelers season opener other than Ben Roethlisberger since 2010, when Roethlisberger sat out the first four games while serving a suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Trubisky started all three of Pittsburgh’s preseason games, completing 24 of 34 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. His final drive may have been his most impressive, a 92-yard march in the final two minutes of the first half against Detroit last Sunday in which he completed all six of his passes, the last one a 6-yard dart to Steven Sims for a score.
Asked if there is a sense of frustration in the quarterback room he shares with Pickett and third-stringer Mason Rudolph — both of whom also played well during the preseason — that nothing has been made official, Trubisky shook his head.
“We know what we need to do on a daily basis,” he said, later adding, “all the other stuff is just headlines that we have no control over, we don’t care about. We’re here to work and we’re here to help the Steelers.”
The way Trubisky, Pickett and Rudolph rose to the challenge set out by Tomlin at the start of training camp in July left their coach “optimistic.” Other spots on the roster, not so much.
An offensive line that underwent an overhaul for a second straight offseason remains very much a work in progress. The Steelers brought in reinforcements after rosters were pared to 53 on Tuesday, acquiring tackle Jesse Davis from Miami. The versatile Davis has started at four different positions during his six-year career.
Pittsburgh also brought in outside linebacker Malik Reed from Denver to provide depth behind All-Pro T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. Reed had 15 sacks in three seasons with the Broncos after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019.
“He’s young and experienced,” Tomlin said. “He’s 26. I talked to him this morning and he’s excited about getting on this moving train and putting his hand in the pile, along with the rest of us.”
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