As expected, Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph fielded questions about Steelers' first-round pick Kenny Pickett during Pittsburgh's first day of OTAs. Both quarterbacks provided diplomatic answers regarding Pickett, who will compete with both players this summer to become Ben Roethlisberger's initial successor.
Trubisky, a former first-round pick for the Bears who inked a two-year deal with Pittsburgh this offseason, said that he wasn't surprised when the Steelers took Pickett with the 20th overall pick. He added that while the possibility of Pittsburgh drafting a quarterback was not discussed prior to signing with the team, Trubisky expected to be in a position battle this summer regardless of where he signed as a free agent.
"We needed to add to the quarterback room, and that's what we did," Trubisky said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "We're happy to have him and looking forward to working with him.
"I knew coming into the situation ... wherever I was going to go, I was going to have to come in and compete, earn the trust of my teammates and get back onto the field with hard work, my talent, and just being a leader on this team."
A former Steelers' draft pick himself, Rudolph spent the past four years playing behind Roethlisberger. Despite this being his first real opportunity to win the starting job, Rudolph said he is not looking at this summer any differently than he did the previous ones.
"Each year I've been here, there's been competition," he said. "If you look back, there's been a lot of quarterbacks that have filtered through here. I think the opportunity to play this year, everyone's going to be competing and putting their best foot forward.
"I'm approaching it like I have, the same mindset I've had the last four years. Every single day, every single rep I get, try to make the most of it and getting better."
The comments from Rudolph and Trubisky on Monday mirror both players' actions regarding Pickett shortly after the draft. Pickett acknowledged then that both quarterbacks had already reached out to him.
"Two great guys," Pickett said. "I'm really looking forward to working with them."
Each quarterback brings something unique to the competition. Pickett brings the promise of a first-round pick. Trubisky is a former Pro Bowler with more than 50 career NFL starts (including playoff experience) under his belt. Rudolph is the Steelers' longest-tenured quarterback as he enters his fifth season with the team.
While he expectsbetween his quarterbacks, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin won't read too much into what transpires over OTAs. The Steelers have 110 days before their season-opener in Cincinnati, and Tomlin expects to use each day as an opportunity to make his team -- and quarterbacks -- better.
"Nobody," Tomlin said, "is going to win a job or lose a job out here in shorts in May."