Steelers’ Mike Tomlin Building ‘Even More Anticipation’ For QB Decision: Analyst

Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett

Getty Images Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks Mitch Trubisky (left) and Kenny Pickett.

On August 30, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked if he was ready to name a starting quarterback for Week 1 of the regular-season. “No, I’m not, yep,” he said, bluntly.

“Who’s to say it’s not settled, I’m just not making any announcements,” he added later, “because it’s fruitless for us. We’ve just got work ahead of us and so that’s not on our agenda to make any announcements to feed the beast. We don’t care about the beast.”

A day later Tomlin’s answer to the question was much the same:

“I’m not, I’m not,” he said, according to Teresa Varley of “I’ll see you guys next week and maybe we’ll talk about it further.”

Those exchanges prompted Mike Florio and Chris Simms of Pro Football Talk/NBC Sports to devote a YouTube segment to the subject of how long Tomlin can hold off on naming a starting quarterback, whether it’s free agent acquisition and former No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky or rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett.

Simms: Kenny Pickett is the ‘Lover Boy of the City’

“I think it’s interesting that he’s not releasing it, or saying anything. You know we talk so much about how a lot of teams want to frame it around, here’s our leader, here’s our general, we’re going into battle with this guy right here and he’s opting not to do that,” began Simms, a former third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who authored a five-year NFL career.

“I know it’s not an easy decision. I know that. Pickett’s been great, he’s a rookie, you know he’s the future. He’s the lover boy of the city, everybody wants him, and he’s done everything right,” added Simms, before saying: “I believe in what he is saying that he made the decision already…. I think it will be Mitch Trubisky when all is said and done but I don’t think he’ll have a very long leash.”

Starting Trubisky would be the prudent course of action, as it’s easier to start with the veteran before turning to the rookie, as opposed to the other way around. You don’t want a “musical chairs” situation, said Florio, referring to the Terry Bradshaw/Terry Hanratty/Joe Gilliam situation in the 1970s, when Steelers head coach Chuck Noll played all three before finally settling on Bradshaw as the permanent starter.

Florio who went on to note how unusual it is for a first-round quarterback prospect to get drafted by the NFL team from the city in which he played his college ball. That gives him a built-in fan base, but also makes it more difficult to bring Pickett along slowly, he opined.

“If you give the people what they want too early, then they are satisfied. Maybe part of his game is you want to build even more anticipation,” concluded Florio, who — like Simms — believes it’s only a matter of time before Steelers fans see Pickett starting games.

“Trubisky is going to have to play out of this world to keep his job throughout the year and the team is going to have to be good with that,” concluded Simms. “Even if he is playing good and we go, well, Mitch Trubisky is not the problem … (If) they are 3-4 or 2-5, he is getting pulled, we know that. Pickett has looked too good.”

Chris Boswell is Getting Married

Meanwhile, on Saturday Steelers placekicker Chris Boswell announced his engagement to his girlfriend, Havana.

He made the announcement on Instagram, with the team’s official Twitter account helping him to promote the news.

Incidentally, Mike Tomlin also posted to Instagram on Saturday, telling followers: “No coaching today. Just a proud football dad here (at Boston College Eagles Alumni Stadium). He was there “with the family to pull for” his son Dino and his Boston College teammates.

Yet the outcome did not go the way the Tomlin family would have preferred, as Rutgers scored on a 22-yard run with 2:43 to play, allowing the Scarlet Knights to come away with a 22-21 comeback victory.

Dino Tomlin, a redshirt junior wide receiver, started his college career at Maryland but transferred to Boston College in January 2022. In three seasons with the Terps, Tomlin appeared in 17 games but had just three receptions for 19 yards.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments