The Pittsburgh Steelers wanted to sign Mitch Trubisky. Mitch Trubisky wanted to become a Pittsburgh Steeler. And that’s why Trubisky was one of the first free agents to sign during Monday’s legal tampering period. Speaking with the media for the first time since being signed – now officially – by the team, Trubisky said Pittsburgh was the team he wanted to end up with.
“They didn’t really have to make a pitch to me,” he told reporters virtually as broadcasted on the team’s YouTube channel. “Or sell me on anything. I wanted to play for Coach Tomlin. Be apart of the rich Pittsburgh Steelers history and contribute to that. When I had the opportunity to come here, my goal throughout free agency was to find a way back onto the field. And go into a situation where I could earn a starting job and use my talents on the field. When the opportunity arose to play for Coach Tomlin and play in a Pittsburgh Steelers’ uniform, I was so excited.”
Reportedly, the Giants and Steelers pursued him the most aggressively in free agency. But Pittsburgh offered a clearer path to a starting job than New York, where a new regime is trying to salvage former first-round pick Daniel Jones’ career. Not to mention the pressure of New York media, as fierce as anywhere in the country.
Trubisky knows what it’s like being on an organized and disorganized team. His four years with the Chicago Bears were a mess, with changes at coordinator and a general instability in a hostile media environment. His own struggles didn’t help but the Bears did little to help elevate him. He took the backup job in Buffalo for 2021, the #2 behind Josh Allen, and saw what a stable, well-run organization is like. That’s what Pittsburgh offered.
They also offered the chance to start. Trubisky will compete with Mason Rudolph to be Ben Roethlisberger’s replacement, but Trubisky’s talent and contract will make him the frontrunner heading into the summer.
“A lot more experience,” he said of what makes him a different quarterback now. “Taking all the games I started in Chicago and then everything I learned in Buffalo. I feel like I’m more of a veteran now and I’ve been through three or four offenses at this point. So I know what works and what great communication and great culture looks like between players and coaches. I’ve been a part of a lot of winning teams and I’ve won a lot of games as a starter. I just feel like mentally I’m in a really great space to get back on the field and do big things. I’m here to do whatever I can to help the Steelers win.”
Ideally, the year to sit on the bench in Buffalo will do his game wonders. As most high first-round picks are, he was thrown into the fire in Chicago, starting by Week 5 of his rookie season despite being just a one-year starter in college. The lumps he took are lessons learned. While the Steelers are a more stable franchise, expectations remain high for a team who, based on their aggressive free agency moves, has every intention of competing for the AFC North crown again in 2022.