Coming off a day in which Mitch Trubisky struggled as the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered their first loss of the season, a day in which “Kenny!” chants were frequently heard from the home crowd, Mike Tomlin offering praise for his starting quarterback probably won’t sit well with most fans. During his weekly press conference, Tomlin was asked what he’s liked about the job Trubisky has done as the Steelers’ starting quarterback.
“I’ve liked a lot from him, to be quite honest with you,” he said via the team’s YouTube channel. “I just think he’s done a good job of doing the things that come with comes with the position, the intangible things, the leadership things, the communication things. Detailing and communicating the offense, working hard to execute our agenda, the things that we want to work on.”
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For a veteran coach like Tomlin, this season is unchartered waters. The post-Roethlisberger era, working with a new starting quarterback, an outsider, trying to pick up and run the Steelers’ offense. Filling the obvious leadership voids left by the previous offensive line and quarterback, a young unit trying to come together and win at the same time.
Astute readers will notice Tomlin didn’t compliment Trubisky on anything post-snap related, focusing on the intangible qualities he’s brought to the team. Through two weeks, Trubisky has thrown just two touchdown passes with an ugly interception, and completed less than 60% of his passes despite a league-low yards per attempt figure. But Tomlin puts those issues on more than just the quarterback.
“We hadn’t scored enough points here the last couple of weeks but that’s a collective, not just a quarterback position, not just the players. It’s all of us are responsible for ringing up the scoreboard.”
Pittsburgh’s averaged just 18.5 points per game through the first two weeks and have scored just two offensive touchdowns. A third came off Minkah Fitzpatrick’s pick-six to open the game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Remove that and the Steelers’ offense has averaged just 15 points per game, a number that wouldn’t win many games in 2002, much less 2022.
It’s important to note Tomlin was asked what he’s liked about Trubisky and he didn’t volunteer that information on his own. But he’s clearly not as down on Trubisky’s play as the rest of the fanbase. As we pointed out before the year began, Tomlin will show more patience and less panic than anyone else in the city of Pittsburgh, and ultimately, his opinion is the only one that matters.