The Pittsburgh Steelers have named Mitchell Trubisky their starting quarterback for Week 1's matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"Mitch Trubisky is our starting quarterback and our captain," coach Mike Tomlin announced Tuesday, per ESPN's Brooke Pryor.
Tomlin further explained the decision, via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Steelers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Steelers</a> coach Mike Tomlin names Mitch Trubisky the starting QB, saying, “We're really comfortable with what Mitch has shown us.” <br>As for rookie Kenny Pickett, he said, “I'm really pleased with the growth and development of Kenny. That's why he's listed as QB2.”
Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett competed in camp for the starting spot.
Trubisky opened camp as the overwhelming favorite to win the job after signing a two-year contract with the Steelers in March. He spent the 2021 season backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo after four inconsistent years starting with the Chicago Bears.
Rudolph was Ben Roethlisberger's backup for the last four seasons but had been unspectacular in the role. His experience in Mike Tomlin's system gave him a head start in terms of knowledge, but he's offered little in-game production to indicate he's a quality NFL quarterback.
Pickett, a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft, was always expected to at least begin the regular season sitting behind one of the veterans.
The 24-year-old is the sixth quarterback Pittsburgh has selected in the first round in franchise history, joining Ted Marchibroda (1953), Len Dawson (1957), Terry Bradshaw (1970), Mark Malone (1980) and Roethlisberger (2004). He's also the third player the team has taken in the first round from the University of Pittsburgh.
"They’re making it difficult for us," Tomlin told reporters in camp. "It’s tough to manage three capable guys, but they're forcing us to do it because they're making the necessary plays. They're anticipating, the timing has been good, the accuracy has been good."
Roethlisberger left massive shoes to fill under center, having reset the entire franchise record book as part of a Hall of Fame career. He also brought home two Super Bowls.
Trubisky should, at the least, be an upgrade over late-career Roethlisberger. He offers mobility outside the pocket that the veteran didn't even possess in his prime, and he should be more capable of stretching the field with his arm.