At this point, it’s pretty safe to assume that Mitch Trubisky will be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback when they take the field against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium in Week 1. Trubisky talked to the media about embracing his role as the veteran in a competition with a rookie and if he’s impatient waiting for a starter to be named.
“I’ve just learned to embrace your role,” Trubisky said via Steelers Live on Twitter. “So whether you’re the veteran helping the young guy, embrace your role. Just having those constant communications in the meeting room, out at practice, anything I can do to help him and be a better teammate, that’s what I’m doing. And when I was a rookie, that’s what the veterans were doing for me. So whatever role you’re in on this team, just embrace that, be a great teammate and it’ll only make this team stronger.”
Trubisky knows the situation rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett is in quite well, as after being a first-round pick in 2017 with the Chicago Bears, he was entrenched in a quarterback competition with Mike Glennon, who the Bears had also signed the previous offseason. Just as both Trubisky and Pickett are new to the team and battling for the job now, Glennon and Trubisky were in the same spot in Chicago in 2017. Glennon initially won the job, but by Week 5, Trubisky took over as starter and started the rest of the season for the Bears.
Having that perspective certainly helps Trubisky handle this quarterback competition. He’s been in Pickett’s shoes and understands what the rookie is feeling and dealing with. Obviously, in this case, Trubisky is hoping to hold onto the job throughout the season, something Glennon was unable to do. Still, his uniquely similar perspective can help him guide and mentor Pickett, as he said Glennon and the other veterans did for him during his rookie year in Chicago.
As far as a starter not yet being named, Trubisky said it wasn’t a big deal.
“We know what we need to do on a daily basis. You come in here whenever your number is called. You come in, do your work, and you do what needs to be done for the team and you do it to the best of your ability. So all the other stuff is just headlines that we have no control over.”
I’m sure Trubisky is as aware as the rest of us that he’s likely going to be the guy in Week 1. Tomlin’s alluded to it during training camp, and the playing time during preseason would seem to indicate that Trubisky will be the starting quarterback. While all three quarterbacks played well, Trubisky went in as the No. 1 guy on the depth chart, and his play did nothing to cost him that spot. I don’t really think a formal announcement changes much of anything in terms of how he’s viewing the job, and his answer speaks to that.
The similarity between Trubisky’s rookie year and Pickett’s rookie year is definitely interesting. If Trubisky struggles early, we could see Pickett play around Week 4 or Week 5, the same time Trubisky took over for Glennon as a rookie. Still, I don’t really anticipate Trubisky struggling that much early on in the season. I’m excited to see how the offense looks this season with him under center, and I want to see how far he can take this Steelers team.