Jerry Dulac thinks it’s time to seat Pickett, says Tomlin ‘sacrificing winning’ to develop rookie


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat writer Jerry Dulac certainly has some strong opinions about how Steelers coach Mike Tomlin will handle the quarterback position this year. While he didn’t quite keep it, after a week of multiple teams sitting out young quarterbacks, He let all of this spill over into yesterday’s chatmaking his feelings very frank.


“You’re giving up what you believe in — winning a game, no matter what — at the cost of developing your first choice,” he said in response to an interviewee. “Wrong way, wrong message to veterans. The whole season was changed by his decision at halftime of the Jets game. Shame, shame.”

Of course, this is all built on the assumption that either Mitch Trubisky or Mason Rudolph will give the Steelers a better chance of winning games this year, and that’s a complicated question to answer. You also have to keep in mind Pickett’s trajectory and how that will shape based on when you start playing.

However, Dulac doesn’t make any bones about it. He clearly believes that Piquet is not the best midfielder in this team at the moment. In fact, he believes picking a rookie in the first round does more harm than good.

He said, “There’s no doubt that you can’t watch the movie and think the good outweighs the bad,” which is a strong claim to me. “I don’t pick Beckett, I think he would be a good midfielder, but he’s not now because he’s a beginner who’s still learning. There’s nothing wrong with him sitting back and letting him learn by watching, you know.”

That’s a big hint, hint, nudge, nudge in the end, but he couldn’t finish the chat without making it more obvious. After the New York Jets benched Zach Wilson and the Houston Texans suspended Davis Mills, Dulac thinks Tomlin needs to do the same with Pickett — going straight to the line of insinuating that he’s a hypocrite if he doesn’t.

“It’s time for Mike Tomlin to turn the stone he didn’t turn—that is, if he wants to try something to win the game, it’s his stated goal every week. And that’s to try a veteran quarterback. But I doubt you’ll meet Mason Rudolph unless Beckett and Trubisky get hurt,” he wrote.

Dulac insists that “the game moves too fast” for rookie Beckett, noting that he needs a year to slow down and contrasting with “how calm and relaxed he is”. [Cincinnati Bengals quarterback] Joe Borough looked into the pocket, “Amidst the pressure.

Regardless of the fact that Pickett always looked “calm and relaxed” under pressure and had the numbers to back him up, being the league’s most accurate passer when faced with pressure. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen either Trubisky or Rudolph look better while under pressure.

Meanwhile, for the third or fourth time, Dulac insisted, “Mike Tomlin sacrifices winning games at the cost of letting his first pick develop.” But would the Steelers really have won more games in 2022, from start to finish, if Pickett had never played — if Trubisky had started all year, or had been pulled in favor of Rudolph instead? I find this to be a tough sell. Rudolph struggled to win games in 2019, even when he was off the bench, when the defense was much better.

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