The more time a player spends in the NFL, the easier (I use that term loosely) things tend to become for them from a mental aspect.
According to new Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Mitch Trubisky, that’s one area of his game he feels has improved greatly in his five seasons in the NFL. Appearing on “Movin’ the Chains” on Sirius-XM Channel 88 with co-hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan Friday, Trubisky talked about his growth as a player overall, where he’s made the most improvement overall and why he feels confident heading into this season
“I would have to say just on field processing, how to eliminate things on the field, just going through your read quicker, and going to the best spot with the ball. I would say that’s what I improved in since I left there,” Trubisky told Miller and Kirwan regarding where he feels he’s grown the most at, according to audio via Sirius-XM. “Accuracy is a part of that as well. And then, just the mental side, regaining confidence and believing in my abilities again through that year in Buffalo helped me. But I would just say, the preparation throughout the week and what we did in Buffalo, it just allows you to process on the field quicker. So you’re able to get the football out quicker and get through the best spot with what the defenses giving you.”
One of the main knocks on Trubisky coming out of North Carolina in 2017 was his struggles identifying where the blitz was coming from, and where to attack defenses overall on hot reads. Add in the pocket awareness issues and dependency on playing in a shotgun-heavy system at North Carolina, and it led to struggles in Chicago.
Now, with five full seasons under his belt in the NFL, Trubisky believes he has better awareness in the pocket, can work through reads much quicker, and has an understanding of how to process what’s happening on the field in front of him.
That, along with figuring out how to be a leader at the quarterback position, gave the North Carolina product a significant learning curve in the NFL, one that wasn’t helped by the constant coaching changes on the offensive staff in Chicago, and some of the square peg, round hole things former Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy tried to push with Trubisky.
The difficult experience in Chicago helped shape Trubisky though, as did the reset last season in Buffalo, leading to him landing in Pittsburgh and an organization that hopes a relatively cheap investment in a high pedigree guy pays off in a big way.
“I would say it’s a combination of everything. There’s so much that goes into the quarterback position that people don’t realize being a leader of the football team, learning a new offense protections at the line of scrimmage, getting the play call in and uh, going through the audibles at the line of scrimmage. So there’s a lot,” Trubisky said to Miller and Kirwan. “And I think just over time and now being in three, three or four offenses, and the next time you go to learn a new offense, you’re just able to pick it up quicker because you have study habits and, and ways of learning things faster.
“And then you also just over time, experience everything you pick up from each destination, whether it be Chicago or Buffalo. I take those things with me, all those lessons and everything I’ve learned, just to be a better football player,” Trubisky added. “So I’ve learned a ton and I just feel like I’m way more experienced and everything I went through was for a reason. And it’s led me here to Pittsburgh.”
How much better of a quarterback or leader that time in Buffalo and the experience in Chicago made him remains to be seen, especially after he played 38 snaps last season behind Josh Allen.