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Bill Cowher: Who Can Take Command in the Pittsburgh Huddle?

For the first time in 17 years, there is an open quarterback competition within the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. Someone has to take command inside the Pittsburgh huddle this season—it’s that simple: Who is the leader?

The Steelers offense evolved from when I started there, thanks in large part to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Now, offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who has been with the team since 2020, has a new challenge and will have great impact on the franchise.

The staff will evaluate who looks the most comfortable, who can be the most consistent, and each guy will get their opportunity to impress in August.

All three should have reps with the first string in the exhibition games so the staff can evaluate them in the first quarter, and in the two-minute offense. By the end of that third preseason game, I’d expect the staff to make their decision.

There is no denying that Mason Rudolph has the most experience in Canada’s system. Ideally, he, or veteran Mitchell Trubisky wins the job. They understand the grind of the season, the preparation that is required to succeed, the different looks they’ll get from defenses. I think first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett will be very good in the long run, but ideally, you bring him along slowly and confidently.

Once you name your starting quarterback, the job isn’t done. If you are Canada and head coach Mike Tomlin, you need to have a backup plan in place. If the offense stalls, or you’re forced to make a change, you need a guy who can step in and immediately provide a spark.

For now, the question remains: Who will take command inside the Pittsburgh huddle?

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