Steelers Owner Art Rooney II Addresses Team’s Future at Quarterback

The Pittsburgh Steelers just might stick with their current quarterbacks after all.

pittsburgh steelers owner

During his end-of-season press briefing, team owner Art Rooney II acknowledged that the team needs better play from their QBs, but expressed confidence that they can get it from Kenny Pickett.

“In terms of the next step, we need to do everything we can to make sure we get quality out of our QB position going forward. We still feel good about Kenny Pickett and his future but he knows he has to work hard to take the next step,” Rooney II said during the January 29 press briefing (via’s Bob Labriola).

Whether or not the Steelers get improved play at QB will decide if they can finally end their playoff losing streak next season, but they could still try to get that improvement from some familiar faces.

Rooney wasn’t ready to just hand the job to Pickett and believes there should be a competition between him and another Steelers QB.

Rooney Confirms Steelers Want Rudolph Back

One of the questions about the Steelers’ QB situation entering the offseason was what the team is going to do with Mason Rudolph.

The sixth-year QB took over as the team’s starting QB with three games left in the regular season an played well enough to get them into the playoffs.

He wasn’t able to get the team a playoff win, but the fact that he was able to hold Pickett off for the starting job for a couple of weeks at least opened up the possibility that he could be back to compete for the job again in 2024.

Rudolph recently said that he was told as much in his exit meeting with Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin.

Now the team’s owner has confirmed it.

“Mason Rudolph came in and showed what we’re capable of when we do get quality QB play … and we’re interested in bringing Mason back,” Rooney II said.

The Steelers’ owner also sounded very open to the idea of Pickett and Rudolph competing for the job, even though he says the team feels comfortable with Pickett.

“We still feel comfortable with Kenny, but we can’t discount what Mason did and can’t discount the fact that having competition at QB will be good for everybody.”

If running it back with Rudolph and Pickett is the plan, this will certainly be their last chance to show that a first round exit from the playoffs isn’t their ceiling.

Setting the Quarterbacks Up for Success

If the Steelers aren’t going to pursue outside options at QB through the draft or free agency, they need to make moves to set Pickett or Rudolph up for success instead.

The QBs have plenty of weapons around them, which is a great start.

However, the team’s blocking has to improve. They need an upgrade at center and a tackle.

They also need to hire the right offensive coordinator.

The Steelers’ offense was brutal to watch with Matt Canada and Pickett immediately began to play better after he was fired.

Now the Steelers have a chance to try and bring in somebody that can bring the best out of their quarterback.

If the team improves on the offensive line and brings in a capable coordinator and the QBs still don’t get the job done, then it will be clear that it’s time to move on at the position in 2025.

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