Tim Benz: Ex-Steelers, Bears QB Jim Miller Mitch Trubisky Prospects; reminiscent of its own 3-QB camp battle

As chairman of SiriusXM’s NFL radio show “Movin ‘the Chains,” former Steelers quarterback Jim Miller will keep an eye on his former team when he announces the training camp to Saint Vincent College next month.

This could lead to a serious case of black and gold deja vu for Miller.

Because, like Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, and Kenny Pickett in 2022, Miller competed with the Steelers in the three-man quarterback in 1996. Neil O’Donnell left the team through a free agency after losing Super Bowl XXX to Dallas. End of the 1995 season. This left Miller, who began his third year in the NFL, to fight for starting work with veteran Mike Tomczak and second-year pro Kordell Stewart.

That was the job Miller finally won by opening the main season in Jacksonville. But he was in the middle of the game in Tomczak’s favor. Tomczak started the remaining 15 games of the regular season when the Steelers beat AFC Central 10: 6.

“I was a young quarterback. But it was a team of veterans. I understand (Bill) Cowher’s reasoning for doing this,” Miller told me on Friday, sending 105.9 The X. ” against a full load of injuries – which we unfortunately lost on my first start as a quarterback.

There was one big difference between Steelers’ current situation and the situation in which Miller was involved in 96. At the time, Cowher had a fallback solution to efficiently split training sessions while using all three players to assist the team. He took Stewart back to his role as “Slash,” where he made his debut as a beginner.

In 96, Stewart threw the ball 30 times in the regular season. But he also tried it 17 times and ran it 39 times, making eight touchdowns on the way.

There is no such opportunity between Trubisky, Pickett and Rudolph this year.

That’s not the only reason Miller thinks that current head coach Mike Tomlin may have a harder time finding a way to split the reps evenly between the three quarterback if he really wants to see how the three work with the other 10 starting players. insult.

“It’s harder today because you don’t have a proper two-day day at training camp,” Miller said. “We had a legitimate morning and afternoon workout. So you skip all those repetitions in the (second) exercise. Now they’re all gone. It was usually a passing practice. Now you have to do it all in one practice.

Miller said he thinks that as time goes on in the camp, Rudolph may see fewer shots during team periods than the other two, as he is the only returning back on the list. So he is best acquainted with the attack and may just need repetitions of individual exercises and “way against the air” to stay sharp.

“Mason is a veteran. He’s been around for a quarter. He knows the offense. I think he has to do more mental repetitions than anyone else,” Miller said.

Another possibility that may arise is if the Steelers find a trading partner who may wish to divest Rudolph’s assets. But, as Cowher recently told Miller during Miller’s visit to Sirius XM, keeping all three and bringing Pickett slowly may not be a bad idea.

“The speed of the game. It’s a significant difference for a college player coming from the ranks of the college to the ranks of the pros,” Cowher told Miller. If you look at Kenny Pickett, keep it simple. Let him evolve into it. If you let him gain confidence early, you can grow with him.

Nevertheless, the angle of competition in Latrobe may become undisputed if Steelers commits to staying on the course consistently during OTAs and mini-camps. Trubisky worked with the first team, Rudolph with the second team and Pickett with the third team.

If that pattern persists and Trubisky’s job is to lose, Miller believes he’s doing well in Pittsburgh. After Miller left the Steelers, he spent four seasons in Chicago, retiring as a pre- and post-game analyst for those Bears games. So he’s been watching Trubisky closely and sees room for growth beyond what Trubisky showed when he was a Bears starter and Buffalo backup.

“The deal with Mitch says it all. They want him to be the man,” Miller said. “His teammates loved him (Chicago).” Mitch works very hard. He’s a tough man. He puts it out for his teammates. … Mitch led the team twice in the playoffs. He has a winning record.

“It was a difficult move for him in Chicago. It wasn’t all his fault. He’ll get another chance. I think he’ll make the most of it.”

The biggest problem Miller thinks Tomlin is facing is communicating with QBs about the future plans for the position.

“You have to be open and honest with the players. If you start with ‘bs-ing’ players and start promising things you can’t do, you can’t do it,” Miller said.

As for the year 96, Miller still has his own opinion on how things are going.

“(Cowher) just wanted to keep the ship still. And Mike had the ability to do that. Mike was a great teammate. He did a great job,” Miller said. then I think I earned more than two-quarters. ”

This 96-year campaign ended in a 28: 3 loss to the New England Patriots. But at least the team won the playoffs at Three Rivers Stadium in Indianapolis Colt last week 42:14.

This is something this franchise would want to do again for the first time in five years. No matter who the quarterback is.

Tim Benz is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Timm at tbenz@triblive.com or at Twitter. All tweets can be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise stated.


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