Who Has The Better Chance Of Becoming Steelers #1 QB

Photo courtesy of Sporting News

This has been a question looming around since the signing the 2nd overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mitch Trubisky. At the time the Pittsburgh Steelers expected a three-way competition between two other quarterbacks, Mason Rudolph and the late Dwayne Haskins(RIP).

But now with the drafting of University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, the competition/battle is back on according to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

“I expect it to be fierce because I know all three guys. I don’t expect anyone to take a backseat,” Tomlin told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show Wednesday. “The challenge is from a structure standpoint. Are we providing enough of a platform for all the guys to show what they’re capable of? And so that’s going to be the challenge component of it. I’m excited about watching these guys compete, just like I am at any position where you’ve got some viable options. So, we will proceed with that understanding that it’s going to be challenging from an organization standpoint, but it’s a good challenge and I’m excited about watching those guys perform.”

SO LET US EXAMINE :

MASON RUDOLPH:

Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report

It is no secret that I am not a big fan of Mason Rudolph, basically because he reminds me of a previous quarterback named Landry Jones, who just couldn’t seem to get it right.

He has a mediocre record in 10 starts amassing a 5-4-1 record, throwing for 2,331 yards..16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. But the main reason I believe he should not..and will not be the starting QB is because he CAN’T BEAT THE CLEVELAND BROWNS! Hasn’t..and probably never will.

Being Rudolph is not as mobile as the other two quarterbacks in this competition, not to mention a fourth QB in Chris Oladokun drafted out of South Dakota State. I honestly see him being traded unless he makes some major improvements. Giving Mason a ➖ once again, because I just don’t think he has it.

MITCH TRUBISKY:

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated

After being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round (2nd overall) in the 2017 draft, Trubisky has had his good times and his bad times on the NFL football field.

In his four seasons with Chicago, he accumulated a very respectable 10,519 yards, 64 touchdowns and 37 interceptions were the good times.. After being traded to the Buffalo Bills in 2021 stepping in for another former first round pick, Josh Allen, Trubisky hit the bad times. But a change of scenery can always help.

The plus side is, since 2018 Trubisky is 25-13 as a starter and is a perfect 3-0 versus the AFC North. All of which were against every other team but the Pittsburgh Steelers. So that is definitely a big ➕ for me.

KENNY PICKETT:

Photo courtesy of the New York Post

Pickett, the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers was considered to be the “Most NFL Ready” quarterback available. Obviously, since he was the only QB drafted in the first round, but negative talks about his hand size caused a lot of disagreements in the team’s pick.

During his time at Pitt from 2017 to 2021, Kenny passed for 12,303 yards, 81 touchdowns and 32 interceptions. Ending with a 138.3 rating, averaging 7.3 yards per pass. Cap it off with 723 total rushing yards just adds to the ➕ side.

What makes Pickett a viable #1 starter for the Steelers is that his numbers since a freshman at Pitt have done nothing but go up. Going from 1969 yards as the starter as a sophomore, to 4,319 yards as a senior. The issue about his small hands was debunked during his Pro Day.

In short, the quarterback battle is basically going to be between Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett, with Mason Rudolph and Chris Oladokun looking to fill the 3rd spot. Let me know your thoughts below. #HereWeGo

PITT ALUM RIDDICK IN LINE TO REPLACE COLBERT AS STEELERS GM

Photo courtesy of sportsmediawatch.com

We all as Pittsburgh Steelers fans were most likely in tears with the retirement of long time General Manager, Kevin Colbert. But we also know the saying..”All Good Things Must Come To An End.” And at those endings..always brings on new beginnings.

ESPN analyst Louis Riddick has been mentioned as one of the front-runners for the new General Manager for the Steelers. This becoming well known after the University of Pittsburgh alum and football player made his speech at the Pitt commencement ceremony on Sunday.

Riddick, called Pittsburgh draft “great”..but because he knew that some would make a connection between him and the general manager vacancy for which he has interviewed.

“It’s funny, I tried not to concentrate on their draft too much,” Riddick said with a grin. “Because I didn’t want anyone going, ‘Ah, look at him, I see what he’s trying to do.”

I completely understand what Louis is trying to say. He is saying if he spoke too much on the Pittsburgh Steelers draft, the media would try to put 2 and 2 together..only to come up with 5. Because let’s face it, that’s exactly what the NFL media does.

But Riddick, a safety from Pitt drafted in the 9th round of the 1991 NFL draft interviewed with the Steelers back in March. And is actually only one of four candidates not currently tied down with any other NFL franchise. Still..he kept “tight-lipped” on the entire situation.

“I can’t say very much,” Riddick said. “Simply because this is something that it needs to play itself out. Obviously, everyone knows what my connection is to [Pitt] and this city — what that would mean for me, what that would mean for my family and how it would be kind of like a full-circle moment for me.

“But we’ll just let this play out. Obviously, there are a lot of other good candidates. Mr. Rooney is someone who I don’t think anyone here has any lack of trust in making the right decision, and he’ll do just that. However it shakes out, it won’t change my connection to this city, this university and anything else that’s involved. We’ll see what happens.”

Riddick. 53, has 13 years of front office experience beginning with the then Washington “Redskins” Commanders back in 2001. He then rose to director of player personnel in 2005 to 2008, before joining the Philadelphia Eagles as a pro scout.

After being promoted to Director of Pro Personnel, General Manager Howie did not renew his contract in 2013. Since then, Riddick has moved into the media world, with the occasional report that a team is considering him to be its general manager.

In my opinion, someone with such NFL experience both on the field, as a scout, in the front office and as an analyst should get a second or third look as a General Manager in the National Football League. And being a Pitt alum and Pennsylvania native, Louis Riddick should fit right in with the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HereWeGo

Dan Rooney Jr: The Unsung Scouting Hero

Photo courtesy of steelers.com

“THE STANDARD IS THE STANDARD.”

We all know the names..Art Rooney, Dan Rooney, Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert and Art Rooney II..but how many Steelers fans know the name Dan Rooney Jr.?

Son of the late Daniel Rooney Sr, Jr started off as the ball boy for the Pittsburgh Steelers back in the 1970’s. Working his way up to work for now recently inducted Hall of Fame equipment manager, Tony Parisi. Dan Jr. then went on to work in the ticket office for a few months, before becoming a part of the scouting department in 1997.

Courtesy of Steelers.com

Starting his scouting career with the pick of former Steelers guard and Hall of Famer, Alan Faneca out of Louisiana State University. Dan also scouted now Pittsburgh quarterback, Mitch Trubisky back in 2017 at the University of North Carolina. Believing that Trubisky brings that Black & Gold mentality on and off the field.

Almost 20 years before Trubisky, Dan Jr. had his eyes set on an undrafted running back out of UNC, “Fast” Willie Parker. An undrafted free agent back in 2004 who set history by busting out a 75 yard touchdown run in Super Bowl XL versus the Seattle Seahawks.

Now moving forward to present day. With the 2022 NFL Draft starting tomorrow, Rooney Jr. has mentioned certain quarterbacks the Steelers have focused on. Those quarterbacks being Pitt University’s Kenny Pickett, Liberty University’s Malik Willis(enjoyed dinner with him and his family), Ole Miss’s Matt Corral, Desmond Ridder at Cincinnati and UNC’s Sam Howell.

Photo courtesy of The Athletic

Notice in the video how Dan Rooney Jr emphasized on how he “Enjoyed dinner with Malik Willis and his family”? Did he mention that about any other of the quarterbacks? Nope.

Segway into the true topic of this blog. Yes, it is about the Unsung Scout, Dan Rooney Jr, who started from the bottom even as a part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But also to let you know that Malik Willis will be our draft choice in the 1st round. #HereWeGo

THE QUARTERBACK WEEK:

AUDIO: Adam Shefter’s Apology About Dwayne Haskins Tweet

Ok. We all know that ESPN NFL insider, Adam Shefter sent out one of the first tweets about the passing of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins. A tweet that was quickly deleted and revised. Question is..do you accept Adam’s apology? Click to listen below. #HereWeGo

Trubisky Signing With Steelers Tell Us Two Things..Plus The Obvious

Look..I get it. Many of us Pittsburgh Steelers are most likely scratching our craniums over the recent signing of quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Wondering why the organization didn’t go after a DeShaun Watson or even a Jimmy Garoppolo. Well..their is a definite method to this madness, and I believe I know what it may be.

So without further ado..#HereWeGo

1) Despite the accolades coming from “soon-to-be” retired general manager Kevin Colbert, Mason Rudolph was not going to be the Steelers offensive leader this season..or any season for that matter. So for him to make such an asinine comment while heading out the door was somewhat laughable to me.

The fact that Rudolph has been sub-par as a backup to “BIG” Ben Roethlisberger and could not for his life beat the Cleveland Browns is fact of that.

2) Enter Mitch Trubisky. Once again although I was confused about his signing at first. I now comprehend what the Steelers are up to, and that is to basically stir the QB Pot. Because let’s face it, the organization is not looking to Trubisky to be the successor to #7. If that were so, why did the Buffalo Bills draft Josh Allen last season? 🤔

Even with the 2-year deal that Mitch Trubisky signed, he is not the answer and I am sure he knows this. Just bargaining chip for the organization to get what they want for the long haul. Like the signing of Dwayne Haskins last off-season, that coaxed Roethlisberger to reconsider retirement..the signing of Trubisky just means to the other QB’s “SHOW IF YOU’RE WORTH IT” or you’re out the door.

THE OBVIOUS: Pittsburgh will still be drafting a quarterback in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, whether that be Malik Willis, Kenny Picket(via trade up) or another remains to be seen. And with that pick it will push each and every quarterback on the roster to the limit. Because each will be wondering who will get that notice to empty their locker.

Keep in mind..Trubisky has a chance to start this season and most likely looking at the depth chart will. But do you really see him, Rudolph or Haskins as a mentor to the incoming quarterback? Two 1st Rounders..one third(Rudolph)..neither can lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to another Super Bowl. But the quarterback the Steelers will draft in the first round like Big Ben definitely will. Mark my words. #HereWeGo

SW1: Steelers Rounds 1-3 2022 Mock Draft

Photo created by Steelers World 1

Ok, I am not going to waste anytime with a bunch of long winded reasons behind my 2022 NFL Draft Predictions..I am just going to get right into which positions I believe the Pittsburgh Steelers will draft in the first three(3) rounds. So without further ado..#HereWeGo

FIRST ROUND: 20TH PICK..(QB) MALIK WILLIS..LIBERTY COLLEGE

Photo courtesy of steelers.com

At 6 foot 1 inches..weighing 225 pounds, Malik Willis may not be a “BIG” Ben sized quarterback, but he is a very..scratch that..an EXTREMELY mobile quarterback who is very accurate as well. His decision making has improved over his three(3) years at Liberty, and let’s face it. In the dominating AFC North..quarterbacks need to have mobility to deal with the speed of the defenses.

Although Malik may be considered by most NFL experts as “not NFL ready” compared to Kenny Picket, his style of play suits the Steelers offense more than any other quarterback in the draft. Place him behind a DeShaun Watson or a Jameis Winston for a year or so, Pittsburgh could be looking at their quarterback of the future. 

SECOND ROUND: 52ND PICK..(OT) MAX MITCHELL..LOUISIANA

Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns

Mitchell, who stands at 6’6 and weight 297 pounds started at left and right tackle for the Ragin’ Cajuns, earning All-Sun Belt Conference accolades. He does, however need to correct a couple of bad habits and get stronger, but what offensive lineman doesn’t?

His foot quickness, play speed and length offers Mitchell a chance to stick as a backup swing tackle in a zone-based scheme as starter potential down the road. Especially within a deep run-heavy offense. Something that the Steelers will be needing after the drafting of Najee Harris last season.

THIRD ROUND: 84TH PICK..(DT)..PHIDARIAN MATHIS..ALABAMA

Photo courtesy of Touchdown Alabama

Although older than most at 24 years old, Mathis, is a 6’4″..312 lb defense tackle who could definitely become a cheap cost asset in the trenches. And with the potential departure of Stephon Tuitt this offseason, Phidarian is one draft pick that can cause Pittsburgh to shift its priorities. 

Even with the return of Tyson Alualu, who the Steelers love, he will be turning 35 years old very soon. Plus after coming off a season ending ankle injury last year, there is no guarantee that he will be the same dominant player he has been in past years. Isaiahh Loudermilk looked promising during his rookie season, but the Steelers still need help along the defensive interior.

So there it is..for now. Keep in mind that Mock Drafts subject to change over free agency. Feel free to comment me with your “DRAFT WISH LIST.” #HereWeGo

Who Should Be Big Ben’s Predecessor For 2022 And Beyond

I have never been one to beat around the bush or pull any punches when it comes to dissecting the needs of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So please don’t think that this will change, especially since it is a very serious topic that needs to be discussed.

It’s no secret. Steelers quarterback, “BIG” Ben Roethlisberger is retiring after eighteen(18) incredible seasons. All of which he had finished with the record of .500 or above. A task unmatched by even the supposed G.O.A.T’s (insert names here).

But anyway, back to the topic at hand. Who should be the Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback from here on out. Let us examine.

MASON RUDOLPH: Oklahoma State..Drafted in 2018 by Pittsburgh Steelers

Mason Rudolph suffers season ending injury versus the New York Jets.

Since being drafted, Rudolph has accumulated a 5-4 record as a starter due to a Roethlisberger injury and positive COVID-19 test last season during the final game versus the Cleveland Browns. A game in which the Steelers lost 24-22.

Rewind to 2020 to the infamous “Helmet Bashing Game” when Mason had his dome smashed by his own helmet used by Cleveland Browns DE, Myles Garrett. Who is still a BITCH in my book. Yet..another game lost to the Browns by Rudolph.

It’s knowing I can be a bit more myself and be the leader I’ve always been at the quarterback position,” Rudolph said Wednesday, “and not worried about stepping on the toes of a longtime Hall of Fame player. All of those things excite me.”

Mason, you were NEVER going to step on the toes of Ben Roethlisberger. The man has done more in his rookie year than you have done as a starter. So don’t give yourself praise you haven’t earned.

CASE IN POINT: If you are going to be the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, you have to be able to beat the Cleveland Browns. Mason Rudolph has not shown the ability to do so. VOTE: NO

DWAYNE HASKINS: Ohio State..Drafted 1st Round..15th Pick in 2019 by Washington Redskins(Football Team)

Just going to call it like it is. Dwayne Haskins since being drafted out of Ohio State (my rival college Michigan) has never really had the opportunity to show his true potential. I mean look at the team he was drafted by, and the head coach running the show. No quarterback could succeed under such a “SHIT SHOW!”

Head coach, Ron Rivera benched Haskins one day after a loss to Rivera’s former team the Carolina Panthers. The thing is, Riverboat Ron didn’t know how to utilize Dwayne like he did Cam Newton when the Panthers made it to Super Bowl L(50) in 2016.

I believe Haskins can become the starter for the Steelers..but it is not my call.

CASE IN POINT: Haskins has really never gotten the opportunity to show off his talents in the NFL. Give him an organization like the Steelers and a HC like Mike Tomlin and he can succeed. VOTE: Perhaps 50/50

AS FAR AS VEGAS ODDS:

  • Mason Rudolph: +275
  • Derek Carr: +700
  • Jimmy Garoppolo: +750
  • Jameis Winston: +900
  • Kenny Pickett: +1000
  • Matt Corral: +1000
  • Kirk Cousins: +1100
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick: +1100
  • Dwayne Haskins: +1200
  • Malik Willis: +1200
  • Russell Wilson: +1200

Personally, I see Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo and even Kirk Cousins as a viable free agent pick up. But don’t count out Aaron Rodgers. Let me know who you think is worthy to be Ben Roethlisberger’s predecessor below. #HereWeGo