One of the topics Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin discussed during a recent appearance on “The Pivot Podcast” was how running back and 2021 rookie Najee Harris could become a new leader in the locker room and on the field following the retirement of longtime quarterback and future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger.
Harris, or any running back, can only lead so much in this role and in this position. As it stands, free-agent acquisition Mitchell Trubisky is the favorite to emerge as Roethlisberger’s successor this summer over first-round pick Kenny Pickett and career backup Mason Rudolph. Tomlin has yet to name a starter and appears to be gearing up for some legitimate competition between the three during training camp.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper, Tomlin added on “The Pivot Podcast” that he was “excited to be uncomfortable” regarding his quarterback situation after previously having a stabilizing force such as Roethlisberger serving. of QB1 throughout his tenure in Pittsburgh.
“I just see the challenges of what’s ahead of us that way,” Tomlin explained. “First of all, I’m looking forward to the anxiety that comes with this uncertainty. Having to hold and deliver, living what we believe in – the norm is the norm. It’s like McDonald’s. You know what a No. 1 No matter what corner of the globe, a No. 1 is a No. 1, and that’s what I want Pittsburgh Steelers football to be as far as I’m concerned. But, with all that cool stuff that are said, it’s frightening, but exciting.
Several reports have emerged this week suggesting Pittsburgh will eventually buy Rudolph, in part so Pickett can enter the regular season as Trubisky’s primary backup. Pickett is said to be “struggling to beat” Trubisky, but perhaps the rookie can offer Tomlin a bit more comfort and peace of mind with a handful of positive preseason performances.