Steelers QB moves proves they think they are Super Bowl contenders

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers recently announced that they were bringing back veteran Mason Rudolph to seemingly fill out the quarterback room. There were some major questions as to who the third quarterback for this team in would be 2023, but considering the experience now in the room, the trio is likely set.

People were quick to speculate that perhaps incumbent backup Mitchell Trubisky would be traded because of this move. That seemed plausible, as Rudolph is a known and safe option and Trubisky could still have starter value to a team, specifically one that loses their quarterback to an injury.

That issue is also resolved, as Trubisky inked a deal that will be keeping him around for the foreseeable future. The Steelers goal wasn’t to settle for a third quarterback or deal Trubisky away. It was to ensure that Pittsburgh has one of the deepest quarterback rooms in the league. That tells me that the Steelers view themselves as contenders.

Steelers are preparing to be like the 49ers

The Steelers are now three deep at quarterback, and any of their current names would be, at worst, a competent second option on most teams. Their goal is simple, they want to still be able to win and remain competitive if Kenny Pickett were to get injured.

That is every team’s goal, naturally, but not every team does that. Think back to when Ben Roethlisberger was at the helm. They never had a great backup behind him that could similarly run the offense if he went down. Sure, Charlie Batch and Landry Jones could hold their own and not kill you, but neither were high-level players.

I would argue that both Rudolph and Trubisky are better options to start a longer period if Pickett were to miss time. This is especially true with how the team is being built. Like the 49ers, the Steelers seemingly want to win games because of every reason other than quarterback. From dynamic offensive weapons to a stout defense, quarterback play doesn’t figure to be the primary focus of this team.

No, the Steelers don’t have the same quarterback-friendly scheme that made Brock Purdy a late-season hero, but they want to be in a similar position where they are winning games because of the rest of the team around them. Purdy played fine, but he wasn’t a dynamic quarterback by any means. The 49ers were successful because of the talent around Purdy.

That doesn’t mean you can skimp on quarterback

Just because the quarterback position doesn’t figure to be the central focus of the team doesn’t mean you can skimp. Again, the 49ers are a great example of that. Despite cruising to the NFC Championship game, an injury to Purdy essentially ended their Super Bowl hopes.

While I would be hard-pressed to call the Steelers Super Bowl contenders, they don’t want to be in the same situation as the 49ers were a year ago. They seemingly think they can make a deep run at things, and despite not having a focus on the quarterback position, they want to be secure there.

If they didn’t think that was realistic they wouldn’t be this deep at quarterback. Their third option could have been a wide variety of middling options that you would keep in case of emergency. Pittsburgh wants to be prepared though, as a quarterback injury isn’t going to deter them from making a run at things.

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The Steelers recent strengthing of the quarterback room tells me this team views themselves as Super Bowl contenders. While I struggle to see it personally, they are preparing to be full steam ahead no matter who is behind center for this offense.