Aiming to add a quarterback with the skillset that fully fits into second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system, the Pittsburgh Steelers seem to have found an ideal fit in free agency in Mitch Trubisky.
Signed to a two-year, $14 million deal with up to $27 million in incentives, Trubisky immediately steps into the facility as the perceived starter in Pittsburgh, replacing Ben Roethlisberger, who retired in January after 18 seasons.
With the transition to Trubisky under center, Canada should be able to fully implement his offense in year two after the offense in 2021 was admittedly a mixture of Canada’s scheme and what Roethlisberger wanted to do, leading to a dismal performance overall from the black and gold.
Enter Trubisky, who brings mobility, plenty of comfort with the RPO, and the ability and strength to move around on rollouts and throw on the run, something Roethlisberger couldn’t really do late in his career. The RPO fit will be especially solid, considering the Steelers had the most downfield RPO pass attempts in the NFL last season, according to PFF.
Speaking with Mike Prisuta for Steelers.com Thursday following his introductory press conference with the local media, Trubisky brought up the fact that he believes he can fit Canada’s system well with the RPOs and rollouts, and stated he’s excited to see what he “can cook up” with Canada in 2022 and beyond, including the increased usage of play-action in Pittsburgh.
“I love the play action, the RPO, but I think you gotta be able to do it all,” Trubisky said to Prisuta, according to video via Steelers.com. “And I think when you have the ability to move the pocket, I think you should. And that just makes it easier throwing from the pocket when you move the pocket. So, you gotta do whatever you can on offense to keep the defense guessing and going down and scoring points.
“But I definitely have that ability to throw on the run and move the pocket. So I hope we can do that,” Trubisky added. “And I definitely love the play action and RPO. So I’m looking forward to diving into the offense and seeing what we can cook up with coach Canada.”
In Chicago, it felt like the Bears tried to force Trubisky into being a true pocket passer, which took away from his strength of moving and throwing on the run at North Carolina, ultimately leading to Trubisky being a relative disappointment as the No. 2 pick. Though he had a ton of success overall as a team, going 25-13 as a starter and leading the Bears to the playoffs, things turned stale offensively for the Bears with Trubisky and head coach Matt Nagy, leading to both ultimately departing the Bears in back-to-back seasons.
Though something has to be taken away from Trubisky’s time in Chicago from an evaluation standpoint, there’s no denying his skillset and pedigree are very enticing for Canada and his offensive scheme with the Steelers.