The Pittsburgh Steelers will enter the 2022 NFL year without legendary quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. This is their first season without their talisman under centre since the 2004 season. Roethlisberger retired after 18 glorious seasons as the signal caller for the black and gold.
Former Steelers player and current football analyst Ryan Clark was a guest on ESPN's Get Up and he had the following to say about Pittsburgh's ability to replace their Roethlisberger at quarterback:
"In the end, who's gonna be my quarterback? Is it Mitchell Trubisky? Is it Kenny Pickett? Can Mason Rudolph make a run? I've had Ben Roethlisberger since 2003 in Pittsburgh, and I am nervous. I am scared and I need one of these guys to step up, take the reins and lead the Pittsburgh Steelers back to glory. We gotta get number seven."
The "number seven" that Clark is referring to is the seventh Super Bowl win for the franchise. The Steelers are tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl victories of any NFL team with six.
Roethlisberger is responsible for two of those Super Bowl victories by defeating the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL as well as defeating the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII.
Who will start the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022?
With Big Ben Roethlisberger now secure in his decision to remain retired at the moment, which player will step up to start next season for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Let's first take a look at the suspects in this NFL quarterback mystery. The "incumbent" quarterback is Mason Rudolph, who joined the team out of Oklahoma State University in 2018.
Rudolph has been given more than a few chances to secure the starting job. While he has a chance to win the job at camp, it can be assumed that if he was going to be the guy, the team would not have invested in a slew of quarterbacks to compete with him.
During his tenure with the team, Rudolph has thrown for 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a completion percentage of 61.4 and a passer rating of 81.1.
This offseason, the team signed former Chicago Bears starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to a two-year deal worth $14 million. Trubisky spent the 2021 season as Josh Allen's backup with the Buffalo Bills and learned a lot observing from the sidelines.
He was a Pro Bowl quarterback with the Bears in 2018 but seemed to lack in the eyes of many, particularly Bears fans.
The Steelers also elected to select Kenny Pickett with the 20th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Pickett, who played for the Pittsburgh Panthers in college, was the first quarterback taken off the board in the draft.
Head coach Mike Tomlin and staff believe that these three quarterbacks will each compete to see who will lead the team in 2022. Many NFL pundits believe that it will come down to either Trubisky or Pickett as the starter entering the season.
Perhaps Pittsburgh could start Trubisky and give Pickett time to learn a bit before taking over the reins as the starter. Most quarterbacks taken in the first round aren't selected to sit on the bench for long, so don't expect Pickett to take a backseat for too long.
That's if he takes a backseat at all in 2022.
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