(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Mike Tomlin confirmed today that Dwayne Haskins will be the starting quarterback in the Steelers' preseason finale against the Panthers on Friday night. Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph will not play in the contest, and neither will rookie running back Najee Harris, along with a slew of other starters.
"I'm just interested in seeing him play more," Tomlin said of Haskins. "This process is fair in that everybody gets an opportunity to show their skill set and we work hard to get to know them. He's new to us, and so the additional reps and exposure is good for him and for us to get to know him."
As we've written previously, this year is pretty much a trial run for Haskins, and then in 2022 is when the Steelers will see if Haskins can beat out Rudolph and take over for Roethlisberger. Of course, that's if Roethlisberger decides to hang it up after this year.
Once Rudolph started in the preseason game against the Eagles, it was clear what the Steelers' plans were for this year in regards to the backup quarterback position. And Rudolph not even playing in Friday night's game solidifies that even more.
The Steelers coaching staff will get a good look at Haskins on Friday night, as he'll probably play the entire first half. It will be with the first-team as well, even though I imagine a majority of the premier starters won't even play in Charlotte. Tomlin said he expects a number of Carolina's regulars will play, however.
“I’m excited about giving him an opportunity and maybe see some reps against Carolina’s first group,” Tomlin said Wednesday morning before practice. “I’m just interested in seeing him play more. He’s new to us, so the additional reps are good for him and for us to get to know him.”
Friday night will be a chance for Haskins to build off his already promising preseason campaign, with hopes of it carrying over to 2022 when the real quarterback competition will presumably happen.