LATROBE, Pa. – Coach Mike Tomlin wasn't ready to go there, but the Steelers situation at quarterback generally is seen as a competition between two players for one job. Those two players will be going head-to-head Thursday night in Lambeau Field.
During his news conference today at Saint Vincent College, Tomlin said the Steelers plan at the quarterback position for the team's second preseason game is "to focus on the young quarterbacks. They're going to play and play exclusively."
Tomlin wasn't prepared to say whether it will be Joshua Dobbs or Mason Rudolph who will start the game, and he wasn't ready to say how the 60-minute game will be divided between the two. But he did say Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones will not play.
"We will not play selected veteran players," said Tomlin. "Ben (Roethlisberger) won't play. Antonio Brown, Cam Heyward, and maybe a few others. It's not about those guys. It's really about an opportunity to get a legitimate evaluation of the guys who do play. And to challenge them, not only in terms of the snaps they get, but to see how they respond to a large volume of snaps."
Tomlin said Bud Dupree has been cleared by the concussion protocol and will see his first preseason action against the Packers.
"We've had a number of guys dealing with injury," said Tomlin. "The number of guys who can be characterized as week-to-week won't play. Vance McDonald, Ramon Foster, guys like them. The guys who are dealing more with day-to-day injuries, the guys who have missed partial work, or maybe a day or two here and there, we'll leave the light on for those guys with the hope they're participants. Bud Dupree is out of the protocol. He's playing."
Tomlin also said the expectations will rise as the preseason continues.
"Our mentality in terms of the game is similar to what it was a week ago, but I am looking for a few specific things," said Tomlin. "It's reasonable to expect last week's experience to aid all of these guys in some form or fashion, and I'm looking forward to watching them build on the positive aspects of the last performance and work to minimize the negative aspects of the last performance. If anything, the last performance is a baseline, and I'm really interested in the evaluation of a subsequent performance with those adjustments in mind and really challenging the guys based on those in a lot of ways.
"There also will be a little bit more of a volume in terms of game-planning. We want these guys to be able to perform at an acceptable level in terms of detail and execution, but at the same time we're going to challenge them intellectually."