It’s usually the case that your team’s backup quarterback is only popular when your starter is struggling, at least under most circumstances. That certainly wasn’t the case for the Buffalo Bills last year with Josh Allen under center, who has quickly emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
Yet in spite of his success in the early portions of his career, Bills players still found themselves gravitating toward their new backup quarterback, as well, veteran former second overall draft pick Mitch Trubisky, who went 29-21 as a starter in Chicago and took them to the playoffs twice.
Trubisky is not the only Bill who ended up signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason, and that’s not entirely coincidental. Levi Wallace spoke to Steelers Blitz yesterday on Steelers Nation Radio and talked about how impressed he was with Trubisky last year.
“Great guy, great leader as well”, he told Wes Uhler and Arthur Moats. “He’s so easy to talk to. I’m so happy. It was one of the reasons I signed here, actually. I saw him sign, and I was like, ‘Man, Mitch is…’ You know what I mean? I’ve seen him when he first got to Buffalo, and just how he grew and just the presence that he is”.
Trubisky didn’t have to play much behind Allen last year, but his Bills teammates saw every step that he took throughout the offseason and during the weeks of practice during the regular season and into the playoffs. What they saw and what was passed on to other clubs helped to revitalize his standing in the league this offseason, despite his lack of tape.
“Josh was our leader, but Mitch was right there behind him”, Wallace said. “He inspired me. So I said, ‘Mitch, you signing? I’m signing. I’m going, too’. I have full faith in him, and I believe in him and all that he does and all that he brings”.
Wallace is a fifth-year cornerback, so he and Trubisky won’t exactly be playing together, but perhaps that says even more about his presence in the Bills’ locker room that he was partly driven to follow his backup quarterback for one season to his next destination in the NFL.
Of course, that was far from the only motivating factor for the Alabama alumnus. His two-year, $8 million contract and a chance to start didn’t hurt. Neither did the opportunity to play with Minkah Fitzpatrick, either. He also has some familiarity with Terrell Edmunds, having played with his brother in Buffalo for the past four years.
Trubisky is currently installed, essentially, as the number one quarterback for the offense, and is the favorite to begin the regular season under center, but the Steelers are hoping that rookie first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett can at least make a competition out of it. I’m sure Wallace can get on board with whoever their quarterback is, though.