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Mitch Trubisky Is The Best Option for Steelers QB

The Pittsburgh Steelers shouldn't rush a rookie when they have a better option.

The quarterback competition for the Pittsburgh Steelers has been the talk of the town. While the duel for the starting job has fans picking sides like it's a Twighlight movie, it appears the winner of the job has all but been named. 

According to a report by ESPN’s Diana Russini, the starting quarterback job in Pittsburgh is “Mitchell Trubisky’s to lose.”

As it should be.

This isn’t to say that the fan-favorite Kenny Pickett hasn’t played well- he has. That said, don’t let the numbers alone trick you into thinking that Pickett is the best quarterback available. After going back and watching every respective preseason snap from both Pickett and Trubisky. While it is well documented that the quarterback competition in Pittsburgh has gotten closer as the weeks have gone on, it is clear that Trubisky is the best option right now.

Trubisky vs Pickett

People are enamored and caught up in the numbers of Pickett. Through two preseason games, he is 19-of-22 for 171 yards and three touchdowns. That’s as good as the Steelers could have asked for from the rookie from Pitt. That said, Pittsburgh hasn’t asked Pickett to do anything groundbreaking. He is averaging just 4.2 air yards per attempt thus far. More often than not on his pass attempts, it’s a three-step drop and release of the ball- similar to how it was with Ben Roethlisberger last season. While there are a few exceptions to this, such as his pass to Pat Freiermuth that ended up gaining 24 yards, they are few and far between. The offense has been very simplified for Pickett. The offense is clearly more in-depth and the playbook is thicker with Trubisky at the helm.

Trubisky has also just flat out looked better, and his numbers are more than stout in their own right, going 9-of-15 for 123 yards and one touchdown through two games. His opening drive against the Seahawks in the preseason opener is the best overall drive for Pittsburgh thus far. He showed off his athleticism and escapability, extended the play, and made good throws, resulting in a touchdown pass to Gunner Olszewski. In Jacksonville, Trubisky was under constant duress and had to escape and show off that aforementioned athleticism to make plays. While he missed a deep shot to Diontae Johnson, Trubisky dealt with the Jaguars' defense constantly winning the battle up front, which limited what Pittsburgh could do.

Preserving Pickett

Sticking with the offensive line woes, this is where the Steelers have to be smart. They drafted Pickett to eventually be the franchise quarterback. That said, they don’t need to rush this process while they have a less-than-par offensive line.

The Steelers should take the same approach that the Chicago Bears initially took with Justin Fields. While Bears fans were clamoring to see their first-round quarterback, they had a horrible offensive line. To put it bluntly, Chicago was much more okay with Andy Dalton being hit a bunch every week rather than Fields. Pittsburgh is in a better spot than Chicago was last year, and Trubisky is a capable quarterback for this season. They can let the veteran take the brunt of the hits early on, and if the team is struggling and they decide they want to see what they have in Pickett sooner rather than later then they can start him. What they can’t do, though, is make Pickett the Week 1 starter and then turn to Trubisky if Pickett struggles, which is just another reason why it makes sense to start Trubisky. Keep Pickett fresh, keep him clean, and work him in if there is a need for it. Until then, this process doesn’t need to be rushed. 

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