Insider: Steelers QB Kenny Pickett 'may not be ready to play exhibitions yet'

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after it was learned that free-agent signing Mitchell Trubisky was a heavy betting favorite to be named the starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers for Week 1, the Steelers confirmed that Trubisky was atop their first depth chart shared this summer. Mason Rudolph is listed second over rookie Kenny Pickett heading into Saturday's preseason opener versus the Seattle Seahawks.

According to one insider, Pickett isn't all that close to unseating Trubisky at this point of the process.

Per Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Mark Madden of TribLIVE and 105.9 The X has reported during the latest edition of the "Madden Monday" podcast that "Pickett just isn’t close to being ready" to face live defenses.

"In fact, I’m told he may not be ready to play exhibitions yet. That’s how shaky they feel he has looked in camp," Madden added about Pickett during his comments.

"Trubisky needs reps," Madden continued. "If you made me predict right now what the division of duty will be in the exhibition game Saturday, I’d say Trubisky and Rudolph each play half, and Pickett maybe gets a series."

Madden also noted that Rudolph could maybe start "the first couple" of regular-season games so that Trubisky could potentially "catch up on the learning curve" as it pertains to replacing future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger.

There's currently no public indication that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has any doubts about Trubisky serving as his QB1 for the Week 1 matchup at the Cincinnati Bengals. That could, of course, change if Trubisky falls on his face against the Seahawks or during tune ups versus the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions later this month.

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