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Steelers Owner Teases QB Competition Between Kenny Pickett, Mason Rudolph

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin recently mentioned that quarterback Kenny Pickett is expected to be the team’s starter under center in 2024, but that there still would be competition for the role.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II revisited the topic of a quarterback competition Monday, noting that Mason Rudolph’s success at the end of the 2023 season is something the team is taking into account.

“We still feel comfortable with Kenny, but we can’t discount what Mason did and can’t discount the fact that having competition at quarterback will be good for everybody,” Rooney said, via’s Bob Labriola.

Pickett made 12 starts this season before suffering a high ankle sprain in December. The Steelers went 7–5 in that span. When the team went 0–2 with backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, Rudolph was promoted from the third string and won three games in a row. Rudolph also started in the Steelers’ wild-card game against the Buffalo Bills, a 31–17 loss.

Steelers quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph both play in games during the 2023 season.

The Steelers are publicly expressing confidence in quarterback Kenny Pickett (left) but apparently are leaving the starting job open to competition from Mason Rudolph. 

It sounds as if Rooney and the Steelers were impressed with Rudolph’s work and results over the past two months.

Rudolph can become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Trubisky signed a two-year extension before the 2023 season.

Pickett completed 62% of his passes in the regular season for 2,070 yards with six touchdown passes and four interceptions in 12 games. Rudolph compiled better stats, albeit in a smaller sample size: 74.3% completions for 719 yards with three TD passes and zero interceptions in four games (three starts).