Steelers quarterback room is another embarrassment for coaching staff

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A lot has been said about the Steelers quarterback room in recent weeks. While on the surface, Mason Rudolph coming in and playing well is a great feel-good story, the entire room and how it was handled is a real inditement to the team and the coaches, a trend that seems constant this season.

There was a lot of hype around second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett to start the season. The offense had built an identity on paper in the offseason, and the entire unit was dominant in the preseason. It looked like Pickett was going to pick up where he left off and grow from there, but that turned out to be anything but true.

The majority of the early portion of the season was filled with poor quarterback play. While fans were quick to mount blame onto Matt Canada, it was apparent that he wasn’t the only issue. Despite being viewed as a pro-ready prospect with a limited ceiling, Pickett made mistake after mistake and looked like a mess as a starter.

Things only got worse for the team after he was injured. While it looks like the position is somewhat stable, this entire group is a further inditement of the coaching staff. Frankly, how this group has been handled and developed is embarrassing.

The Steelers need to overhaul this room

Let's start with the obvious first. Mitch Trubisky was brought back and given a new deal in the offseason. He was paid well for his role, and the expectation was for him to be able to win a few games if he was called upon.

Instead, he was miserable when called into action. For someone that you are paying a lot of money for as a backup, his inability to do anything with the ball in his hands was pathetic. It really made you wonder why the team was adamant about bringing him back in the first place.

Then you have the Rudolph ordeal. While I am happy to see him do well now that he has his shot, how can the coaching staff have justified keeping him on the bench for so long? The Steelers have put together their best offensive outputs over the two weeks he has started, and this team suddenly looks like a legitimate threat.

Some of that had to have been shown in practice, as I find it hard to believe that he was a mess in a lighter setting only to turn it on when called into action. Had the offense played like it has been with Rudolph at the helm for even half this season, this team is likely locked into a playoff spot already.

What does this say about Pickett as well? It isn’t like Rudolph is suddenly playing at an elite level. What he is doing is staying consistent, hitting open receivers, and stretching the defense on deep plays. In turn, this has helped open up the ground game since the defense now has to account for a vertical passing game.

Pickett wasn’t capable of doing this. That allowed defenses to play the run more aggressively, which in turn limited the offense further. Now, the Steelers have seemingly benched Pickett for Rudolph, and if the team sneaks into the playoffs, that change could be more permanent.

4 Steelers who will be playing for their future jobs in Week 18. 4 Steelers who will be playing for their future jobs in Week 18. dark. Next

This entire room and how it was handled is another embarrassing issue for this team. Good on Rudolph for playing well, but how could this team justify sitting him on the bench for so long when the two options in front of him were miserable? Ideally, this opens the Steelers eyes to the fact that they still need to be looking for their quarterback of the future starting this offseason.