Mike Tomlin confirms Mitch Trubisky will start Steelers' preseason opener

Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Football

PITTSBURGH — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said all three quarterbacks will play in Saturday night's preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks and be used similar to the way they have been utilized in training camp at Saint Vincent College.

That means Mitch Trubisky, who has taken every snap with the first-team offense since the spring and is expected to be Ben Roethlisberger's replacement when the regular season begins, will start against the Seahawks and play the first quarter.

It should mean he will be replaced by Mason Rudolph, who will play the second and possibly into the third quarter with the second group. Rudolph has appeared in 11 preseason games in his previous four seasons with the Steelers.

Rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett will make his preseason debut with the third group in the fourth quarter but could play earlier.


"Our intentions are to play them this first time out very much the way we started this process," Tomlin said.

Several veterans are not expected to play against the Seahawks, including defensive end Cam Heyward, outside linebacker T.J. Watt and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Tomlin said players who have missed practice time with injuries will not play, which should include running back Najee Harris, wide receivers Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, and nose tackle Tyson Alualu.

"It's time to get this group in the stadium and compete against some unfamiliar guys, to be in game-like circumstances," Tomlin said. "Practice is game-like, drills are coordinated and organized, so to see their ability to move and function fluidly in the midst of actual play is a significant step. Performances under those circumstances are weighted more heavily than they are in these circumstances."

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