PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have four quarterbacks competing for the starting job this season, and no coach is seeing the progress of that battle more than QB coach Mike Sullivan.
Sullivan spoke during mini camp about the progression of the position battle, breaking down each of the quarterbacks competing. He's already seen a year of Mason Rudolph, and knows what he's getting from the veteran, but the other three has impressed as well.
"He's doing a great job adapting and adjusting to the different scheme, the terminology," Sullivan said. "He's picking it up well. He really looks comfortable. We thought, before we even brought him in, he looked very comfortable under center with the play-action passes and the ball handling. He's continuing to do that."
"Kenny's been working his tail off," Sullivan said. "He's always in the office putting in the extra amount of time. He's picking things up well. Making the most of his reps, and really showing the mobility, which was a strong part of his game in college."
"Chris Oladokun isn't getting as many of the reps, but he's got a very very strong arm, he's accurate, he's shown some good things when he gets his opportunities," Sullivan said.
So, what are the Steelers looking for as a benchmark to know who has the lead in the QB battle? Right now, it's about understanding the gameplan. From there, it's controlling an offense the way a winning quarterback could.
"New system, they have to learn what's new," Sullivan said. "From a jujitsu standpoint, they're at a white belt level. How do we progress to blue and purple and red and black - to have that mastery. ... How can we be very very precise? Starting in the huddle, being clear and precise. Having that command pre-snap. They do a lot of shifts and motions. The next step, because our defense is a pressure defense, is being able to identify any protection adjustments, being able to see what some of the tells are. ... Then, it's that first second and a half after the ball is snapped when we determine are we going this side or are we going this side, are we taking the right type of footwork, because the longer in the down, bad things tend to happen."
The Steelers return to action on July 27 for training camp, where we'll get the next look at all four quarterbacks during this battle.
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