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Kenny Pickett’s promotion in Pittsburgh’s depth chart is part of the plan, not the result

Kenny PIckett took first team reps in practice for the first time. This is big news!
Kenny PIckett took first team reps in practice for the first time. This is big news!

After making his professional debut with a last-second touchdown in a preseason game with the Seahawks, Kenny Pickett received most snaps with the second team. 

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You might be surprised, but the move from the third quarterback to second is not a reward for Pickett’s performance (13 of 15 passes for 95 yards with 2 touchdowns and a 2-pointer). That’s just part of the plan… 

“Yes, we have a systematic approach,” – said Matt Canada, the Head Coach. – “And I have outlined that schedule and will continue to stick to our work plan.”

The problem is, no one knows exactly what this plan Canada is talking about looks like. But since the mini-camps, Trubisky has taken the bulk of the snaps with the first team, which means there’s no reflex decision when it comes to quarterback competition.

That plan is known only to a few people: Tomlin, Canada and quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan.

Is Tomlin looking for an experienced backup for at least the first half of the season until Pickett is fully integrated into the process? Or does he believe Kenny is already one game away from taking the field? It’s all part of the master plan Tomlin is pursuing. 

“A plan is just a plan,” Canada said. – It’s not dogma, and it can change. How you play is very important. I am not going to say we are going to stick to the plan to the bitter end, no matter what. But until something fundamental changes, we will methodically carry out all the planned procedures.”

In general, Pickett is pretty accurate in training. But, Tomlin said, the value of those drills does not compare to the game load.

“Make no mistake, everything that happens in the stadium is definitely more important in understanding a player’s perspective” – Tomlin continued.

That’s what makes the competition between quarterbacks so interesting. They are all good enough not to be excluded from the “plan”.

A day before the start of training, Canada analysed the offensive game against Seattle.

“The first drive went great,” Canada said. – We got the ball at our 10-yard line, ran 90 yards, and scored a touchdown. Obviously, that was our goal – to score points early. Trubisky’s second drive can be described as pretty good. He played with confidence, but the play on third down was not as clean as I would have liked. Overall, Mitch ran the offense well and we are pleased with his performance.”

Trubisky himself would like to replay two combinations.

“On one of the throws, I’d like to throw the ball more accurately for Pickens to catch downfield. And on third down, if I were running, the defenders would hit my hand. I think I could just go back in the pocket area and throw the ball to Gunner Olszewski on the hitch route.”

Rudolph scored on 9 completions out of 15 throws for 93 yards and a touchdown. Trubisky went 4 of 7 for 63 yards with a touchdown.

“We are working hard to give them similar situations and similar perimeters in practice and in games,” – Canada said. – “Let us see what they can do for us. Of course, we do not have the first three attacks, so the conditions will not be absolutely fair anyway. However, we are trying to honestly assess our quarterbacks”.

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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