Who is Mitch Trubisky? We know his name—he seemingly prefers Mitch to Mitchell these days. We know his history, and his stats, and the fact that he didn’t play much at all, as a backup, last season before he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What we don’t know, but which most will be trying to tell themselves one way or another, who Mitchel Trubisky, the sixth-year veteran, is going to be in his third city as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he knows that it all starts with earning his spot, before he can begin to start redeeming himself.
“I’m in a situation where I have to prove myself back on the field, and that’s what I’m looking forward to doing”, he told reporters yesterday during his introductory press conference with the media. “I think you’re always betting on yourself, in that sense. I definitely am in this case”.
The second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Trubisky saw only modest collective and individual success during his four-year tenure with the team that drafted him, the Chicago Bears. They allowed him to walk in free agency last year, spending one season on a one-year, $2.5 million contract backing up Josh Allen for the Buffalo Bills. He believes he learned a lot during his time up there—seemingly more than he credits learning in Chicago. And he’s ready to apply that in his new surroundings.
“I’m just lucky to land in a situation in Pittsburgh. I’m looking forward to playing for this city and this coaching staff and being a part of this great culture”, he said, “but, yeah, you’ve got to bet on yourself and just trust what you’re capable of”.
The Steelers went looking for a potential high-upside veteran quarterback this offseason in the wake of Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement after 18 seasons. They centered on the 27-year-old with a 29-21 record, signing him to a deal worth $14.25 million in base value over two seasons, with NLTBE incentives pushing its maximum value to $27 million.
But he is only one of three quarterbacks on the roster now, including Mason Rudolph, who is going into his fifth season with the Steelers. The team has talked about potentially being comfortable going into the 2022 season with him as their starter, and Trubisky doesn’t take that lightly. He doesn’t expect to be given anything.
“I think you expect competition wherever you go, especially when you coming into a new team, a new situation”, he said. “I’m looking forward to earning the spot and just earning the trust of my teammates. I can’t wait to get on the field with these guys and show them what I have”.
The Steelers are hoping that offensive coordinator Matt Canada and quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan can do a better job than Trubisky’s former pairings in maximizing his skillset and minimizing his limitations, while at the same time strengthening his weaknesses.
It’s a tall task, to be sure, but the risk is relatively minimal. They are not shackled to him by any means, and it’s quite possible that they draft a quarterback in the first round next month, or a year from now. I don’t think anybody in the organization is going into this year expecting to have found their new long-term franchise quarterback. They’ll be thrilled if he earns that, but they know not to count on it.