One of the biggest storylines during training camp this year was who the Pittsburgh Steelers would start at the quarterback position. The team used their first-round pick on Kenny Pickett out of Pittsburgh but also signed Mitchell Trubisky in free agency and had Mason Rudolph as a holdover from last season.
Trubisky entered training camp as the starter and left it in the same manner. Pickett locked down the No. 2 role and Rudolph is the third-string emergency quarterback. However, Trubisky’s hold on the starting job isn’t very secure.
Pittsburgh’s offense has been brutal in the early going as one of the least explosive units in the NFL through two weeks. Trubisky has been hesitant to take shots down the field despite having a strong skill position group that includes Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and offseason standout George Pickens.
Play calling has been an issue as well, as Matt Canada’s game plans have been underwhelming, to say the least. While head coach Mike Tomlin is preaching patience when it comes to the offense, it is fair to wonder just how long he can go before a change needs to be made. He may not hear it, but fans are already chanting Pickett’s name at games and looking for Canada to be fired.
During his show on FS1, Colin Cowherd offered up a guess as to when Pickett could be named the starter. He believes that a change could occur in Week 9, which is when the Steelers are on their bye.
That would be a logical time to make a change should one be needed. It would give Pickett an extra week of preparation for the starting job and their schedule softens up a little bit. They host the New Orleans Saints, who notoriously struggle outside of the dome and Cincinnati Bengals before heading on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons.
That is certainly an easier schedule to navigate than anything in the coming weeks. Following their matchup with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football this week and a matchup against the New York Jets after that, the schedule becomes daunting.
The Steelers are on the road for three of their four games heading into the bye, traveling to face the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles. The home game mixed in is a visit from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Pickett would be thrown to the wolves starting during that stretch, which could lead to musical chairs at the position. Instead, waiting until the bye, as Cowherd suggested, is likely best for everyone involved.