2022 training camp questions: Why did Tomlin pull Pickett early and play Rudolph in 2nd half?


The Steelers are already out of training camp and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility. It’s where they train otherwise all year round, and Saint Vincent College’s move to Pittsburgh for training camp heralds the upcoming regular season.

The team has had a good few weeks of work at Latrobe, but there are still some outstanding questions that need to be answered. There are still a few positional battles to be determined, whether one considers quarterback up for grabs, or even remote in the mix.

We have yet another new offensive line with some incoming veterans in James Daniels and Mason Cole. Myles Jack is inside linebacker, replacing Joe Schobert, and we’ll have to see if Devin Bush can get back to form after last year’s dismal performance.

There’s still so much going on, and even coming out of training camp, we’ll only discover more questions as we go. We will be discussing it here daily so that the community”talk to each otheras Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.

Question: Why did Mike Tomlin pull Kenny Pickett so early from Saturday’s game and play Mason Rudolph for an entire half?

Head coach Mike Tomlin gave his three competing quarterbacks roughly equal work, in terms of team reps, during training camp, even though they weren’t of equal quality – Mitch Trubisky almost exclusively took representatives from the first team, for example.

In pre-season, the approach was somewhat different. Trubisky played, roughly, the first quarter, then either Kenny Pickett or Mason Rudolph played, roughly, the second, the other playing the entire second half.

It was assumed that with Pickett coming second in Saturday’s game, he would play in the second half, having taken his first snap with less than seven minutes left in the second quarter. But Tomlin decided he’d seen enough in his rookie first-round pick’s eight games, and allowed quarterback he knows more than unnamed Ben Roethlisberger to monopolize a whole half of snaps. in-game assessment.


Pickett played about a dozen shots in the stadium. Unless Tomlin is already resolved to not start Pickett at the beginning of the year, which seems to be the case, so on what grounds could one claim that anybody seen enough?

I’d bet the most popular answer to why Tomlin played Rudolph for an entire half at the expense of Pickett getting valuable playing time was to cast him as commercial bait. Maybe that’s at least part of it. Maybe that’s all.

But it still leaves me scratching my head. That seems to me to lie to the idea that there was ever any serious quarterback “competition” in the first place, which certainly wouldn’t be a controversial opinion. If Pickett was really competing to start Game 1, he would have played in the third quarter.

But he is not.


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