The Pittsburgh Steelers are certainly moving forward with Mitch Trubisky installed as their intended starter quarterback on offense thus far. He is on the top of the hierarchy during the Spring, and presumably, he would have to be overtaken in order to lose that spot.
Signed in free agency back in March, Trubisky is 29-21 as a starter, but coming off of a season in Buffalo where he served as a backup (albeit to Josh Allen). Now in Pittsburgh, he has a second chance to be ‘the guy’ under center, at least initially, and he’s comfortable with what they’re putting together already.
“We’re definitely building. We’ve got some great connections going with Chase [Claypool], Diontae [Johnson], Pat [Freiermuth], Najee [Harris], and the rest of the guys”, he said. “We’ve got a talented group here. We’re continuing to build that chemistry, learning this offense together, and really just ironing it out to see where we want this thing to go”.
The ‘we’ in that conversation also includes offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who is in his third season with the team but second as offensive coordinator—and first with the opportunity to fully run his own offense, rather than some compromise with former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Despite so many pieces of the offense being new—everybody except Anthony Miller being new to Trubisky—he sees a lot to be happy about. “I like where we’re at”, he said. “I thought we’ve gotten better every single day”. He added, “We’ve put a lot in, and I think the guys have handled it well, and we’re just executing at a pretty high level right now”.
Johnson and Harris were Pro Bowlers last season, so one would hope that they could execute at a high level. Freiermuth was also known for his catch radius and good hands as a rookie last year. This year’s top rookie from the skill positions, wide receiver George Pickens, is also known for his good hands, and he’s been displaying that thus far as well.
While there are still a lot of questions about what this offense could look like come September, there is no denying the sheer talent level that is currently available at the skill positions for the Steelers. It should be there, after all, considering they’ve invested a number of draft picks in the first two days to that area of the roster, including three in just the past two drafts.
Of course, executing an offense cleanly takes a lot more than just talent. It takes timing, and rhythm, and a quarterback who can deliver the ball where it’s supposed to be—or re-script a play when necessary. It takes an offensive line that can keep the play on-script for as long as possible as often as possible.
And it takes a play-caller who knows how to call a game and read and exploit a defense, as well as a quarterback on the field who can put it in favorable matchups. Looking good against air with no pads on is nice in June, but most will be waiting until the games start.