During Monday’s Steelers practice, several reporters noted that rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett was taking second-team reps with the offense.
To that point, Pickett had taken snaps with only the third-team offense, with incumbent backup Mason Rudolph leading the twos.
So Pickett’s turn appeared to represent some sort of progress. But head coach Mike Tomlin said after practice that it didn’t necessarily mean much.
“There will be more of that. All of those guys are running in all groups, it’s just part of team development,” Tomlin said in his press conference.
In response to a follow-up asking if reporters shouldn’t read into it that Pickett is now No. 2 and Rudolph is now No. 3, Tomlin said, “You should not, but I’m sure you will.”
It’s still early on in camp for a quarterback competition to start showing real results. But it’s probably not a bad thing that Pittsburgh’s staff feels comfortable enough for Pickett to take snaps with another group of offensive players.
The Steelers made Pickett the only quarterback selected in the first round for a reason, and he stands to take over as Pittsburgh’s QB1 sooner than later. But it remains to be seen just how soon that will be.