If Mitch Trubisky is going to come into Pittsburgh and become a successful starting NFL quarterback, then he may want to think the Buffalo Bills. At least to hear him tell it, the former first-round pick is indebted to the defending AFC East champions for setting him up to learn how to improve himself while serving as a backup last season.
“They were awesome. I had a great year in Buffalo last year. Learned so much from [Brian] Daboll, Josh [Allen], Coach [Ken] Dorsey, and Shea Tierney, the whole quarterback room”, he told Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller during a recent interview on SiriusXM Radio, after signing with the Steelers.
“It was just so much fun to learn a new offense, be with those guys, and be in an environment where there’s just awesome, honest communication between the coaches and players and allows you to go out there and play free within the offense and just go out there and use your instincts”, he added.
Drafted second overall by the Chicago Bears in 2017, he was a four-year starter there—for the most part, starting more than half of each season—going 29-21, but he found himself signing a one-year, $2.5 million contract in 2021 to be a backup behind Josh Allen. At least in hindsight, and in public, he doesn’t regret this process.
“I feel like I learned a lot through that experience and was a part of a great culture”, Trubisky said. “It was a lot of fun, so I feel like it was definitely what I needed for my mind to get a little reset so I could come back even better this year”.
It has to be noted that as a former draft pick viewed as a future franchise quarterback who did not pan out with his first organization, Trubisky would obviously be incentivized to downplay his time in Chicago and credit Buffalo as rejuvenating his career.
Of course, the ultimate evidence will occur on the field. Either he plays like a starter or he doesn’t, regardless of what he may say during interviews between now and the start of training camp. The Steelers didn’t give him starter money, really, in base value on his contract. He knows he has to earn everything coming to him (including the nearly $13 million in incentives).
Trubisky entry into Pittsburgh comes on the heels of Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, as the Steelers look to turn over every stone (except the one Deshaun Watson was hiding under) in their pursuit of their next franchise quarterback.
They’re not just assuming that Trubisky is that guy. They have been eyeballing all of the major quarterbacks coming out of this draft class, and it seems like a more than realistic chance one of them will be in Pittsburgh this Fall if the Steelers can manage it.