ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck has given his thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback battle between Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett.
This preseason, on paper at least, was meant to be a pretty straightforward matter for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they moved on from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After signing Mitch Trubisky as a free agent after his stints with the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills, he was going to be the bridge quarterback whilst first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett sat and developed.
However, a funny thing has been happening throughout the offseason and preseason, as Pickett has been performing better than some might have expected, and is pushing Trubisky for the starting role perhaps a little bit sooner than might have been anticipated.
And now the Steelers are left in something of a dilemma, as they have to work out who is going to be their starting quarterback is going to be, and they are running out of opportunities to do it.
Leaving it late
The Steelers will wrap up their preseason games this weekend as they take on the Detroit Lions, and as things stand, it looks as if the quarterback battle is still up in the air.
Speaking to the media during practice (via SteelersNow), when asked whether or not the final week of work would play a part in deciding who gets the start when the Steelers take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 of the regular season, head coach Mike Tomlin answered with a simple ‘yes’.
But Tim Hasselbeck thinks that, based on how the preseason has worked out, the decision should already have been made.
What’s he said?
Speaking on ESPN’s Get Up, Hasselbeck, a former quarterback in the league, believed that it’s Pickett who should be the starter for the Steelers rather than the established Trubisky.
“I would start Kenny Pickett. I think it’s pretty simple. I know the plan was to have Mitchell Trubisky be the bridge quarterback. But here’s the deal with Pickett, he’s 24 years old, so for perspective, if you go back to the 2021 Draft, he’s older than every quarterback that was drafted in the first round that year.
“He essentially was a pro quarterback his last year at the University of Pittsburgh because of the COVID season. So you have a guy that started nearly 50 games at the collegiate level. He’s looked prepared this preseason, he wasn’t drafted as this, you know, prospect with this tonne of potential or upside. I think it was drafted more along the lines of being a guy that was ready to come in and play right away. And he looks like he’s ready to do that.
“So with that being the case and you know, you consider your window to evaluate a first-round quarterback. I would play him and I would play him right away.”
They say that the proof is in the pudding, so it really will be a case of watching what happens on Sunday when they take on the Lions, as whoever performs the best out of the two, may well end up being the starter for them moving forward.