Mike Tomlin explains why Kenny Pickett becomes second on depth chart

Last updated August 3, 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has explained why rookie quarterback Kenny Picket is moved to second on the team's depth chart. He said this was a rotation aimed to get team members accustomed to each other.

Tomlin said it was "just part of team development”. The head coach suggested the arrangement would not be permanent.

“So we shouldn’t read into it as now Pickett is No. 2 and Mason is No. 3? You should not, but I’m sure you will,” he said.

Earlier, the quarterback was raised to second on the depth chart during Monday's practice. Previously, he was third after quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph.

This change made fans question Pickett’s role in the Steelers, especially because Rudolph had spent more time on the team. The quarterback signed with the Steelers in 2018, although he did not play during that regular season. Some asked whether Pickett would “leapfrog” Rudolph.

Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada insisted that Rudolph would get a "fair shot" to be the team’s starting quarterback.

“Mason has made a lot of plays at times, he’s played very well at times for us,” Canada said. “He’s got a great shot at it. He’s being treated that way. His history with our plays, with our system, is a positive for him.”

Currently, the top quarterback for the Steelers is Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky spent the last NFL season as the second quarterback option for the Buffalo Bills before being traded to the Steelers earlier in 2022. Nonetheless, for now, the Steelers have yet to announce the starting quarterback for their team.

In the previous season, the Steelers recorded 9-7-1 and finished second in the AFC North Division. Their average point per game was 20.2. Additionally, they also ranked 15th in the total yard passes with 221.1 per contest. Ben Roethlisberger became the team’s best player on the offensive side.

This season, football analysts have predicted that the Steelers will have three quarterbacks on their roster. Despite his potential, Pickett will likely observe more senior players as he adjusts to the major league system.

Pickett's potential

The Steelers selected Pickett during the first-round draft pick in the 2022 season. Before playing in the major league, Pickett had a college football career with the Pittsburgh Panthers for five years, during which Pickett recorded a total of 12,303 yards in passes and 81 touchdown passes against 32 interceptions.

The past practice seasons showed that Pickett was able to raise his reps significantly. Steelers reporter Brooke Pryor wrote that during Tuesday’s practice, “Kenny Pickett’s looked like the best quarterback today”.

On Tuesday, Pickett made a deep completion on the sideline with teammate Steven Sims. It was approximately a 25-yard pass.

According to reports, there is a possibility that Pickett will make his pro-football debut when the Steelers go against the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason game on August 13. The arrangement for this game will also offer the possible look of the Steelers in the upcoming season.

Regardless, Pickett will likely start a game this season. In the NFL, first-round draft picks usually do not stay in the bleachers in their rookie year.

Jake Williams
Jake Williams is a sports gambling expert. He's been writing in the sports betting and DFS industry for over a decade. He specializes in MLB and NBA, along with College Basketball and College Football.