Dulac: Steelers’ Quarterback Controversy Between Mason Rudolph And Kenny Pickett Has Created Intense ‘Internal Debate’

The Pittsburgh Steelers are at a crossroads in the 2024 offseason as they grapple with a significant decision regarding the quarterback position. The lack of production from Kenny Pickett, a first-round investment in 2022, has been overshadowed by Mason Rudolph’s impressive performance when called upon late in the 2023 campaign.

Dulac: Steelers' Quarterback Controversy Between Mason Rudolph And Kenny  Pickett Has Created Intense “Internal Debate”
Steelers’ Brass Dealing With Internal Debates Involving Rudolph And Pickett
Reports from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicate that the Steelers are experiencing internal conflict regarding their quarterback situation. Despite the organization’s vocal support for Pickett as the franchise quarterback, Rudolph’s success in the latter part of the 2023 season has sparked debates within the team.

Rudolph’s performance in the final three regular season games, which secured a playoff berth for the Steelers, has intensified the debate surrounding the starting quarterback position. As a pending free agent, Rudolph holds the power to explore opportunities elsewhere, potentially leaving the Steelers; a franchise that may be scrambling to secure their quarterback of choice.

“In fact, there appears to be some internal division that maybe Mason Rudolph should be the starter after the way he finished the 2023 season, winning the final three regular season games to gain entry to the playoffs.”

With Rudolph’s impending free agency, the Steelers face a looming deadline to secure his services for the upcoming season. Despite mutual interest expressed by both parties, Rudolph’s decision may hinge on the allure of other opportunities in the NFL landscape.

Dulac went on to state that he does believe the Steelers still have a lot of faith in Pickett. However, he pointed out one main caveat that should concern Steelers fans.

“Yes, they will go into the 2024 season with the idea Kenny Pickett, who has compiled a 14-10 record as a starter, will be the No. 1 quarterback. But they will not go in with the same hope they had this time last season when they were encouraged by the way their rookie quarterback finished the 2022 season.”

Speculation abounds regarding the Steelers’ quarterback situation, with rumors linking the team to various veteran signal-callers. However, the organization’s commitment to Pickett adds a layer of uncertainty to their offseason plans, as they navigate the delicate balance between potential and proven performance.

While Pickett has demonstrated his ability to win games, questions linger about his production and consistency. The Steelers must weigh these concerns against their belief in Pickett’s long-term potential, further complicating their decision-making process.

The Steelers’ decision is further complicated by the lack of substantial data to assess Pickett’s performance accurately. His injury, coinciding with former offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s failures that led to his departure, has left decision-makers with a limited sample size to evaluate.

Pickett had one of his best performances since being drafted following the firing of Canada. However, that was short-lived as he got hurt in the second game against the Arizona Cardinals. Steelers fans were robbed of the chance to watch Pickett operate as the starting quarterback without Canada calling the shots. This makes it hard to truly evaluate Pickett.

You don’t win Super Bowls in the NFL without legit quarterback play and as of right now the Steelers don’t have that. Pickett could use what happened to him in 2023 as motivation and really prove Steelers fans and pundits wrong. However, with a lot of options through the draft and free agency the Steelers would be wise to make an aggressive move. The roster is expiring and a lot of talent is running the risk of not experiencing much postseason glory. The time is now and the pressure is on.

As the offseason progresses, the Steelers find themselves at a pivotal juncture in their quest for quarterback stability. Whether they place their faith in Pickett’s promise or opt for Rudolph’s recent success or both, the decision will shape the team’s trajectory for the foreseeable future. With March 11th marking a crucial deadline, Steelers fans await eagerly to see which direction their team will take.

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