The Pittsburgh Steelers are exactly one game into the post-Ben Roethlisberger era, with their top two quarterbacks completely new to the organization this season. Mitch Trubisky is a sixth-year veteran in the league, but he only just played his first game ever in the black and gold after being indoctrinated into the offense beginning in March.
In other words, there’s still some polishing to do. And it’s inevitably going to be a work in progress, both from a schematic and personal standpoint. Everybody is still learning about each other, as head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged in his comments to reporters yesterday.
“Let’s be honest here, I’m getting to know Mitch, so I think anytime he and I step into a stadium, I come out of the stadium with a deeper understanding of what he is and who he is as a man and a player”, he said of Trubisky, via transcript.
“It’s a process and I don’t resist that process, but I don’t take it for granted at the same time either”, he added. “We’re learning and growing, and so it’s reasonable to expect him to be better, for me to be better with him, for us to be better with each and every passing day, particularly those days inside stadiums”.
Trubisky was placed in the driver’s seat for the starting job this spring and he never handed over the keys, in spite of the fact that Kenny Pickett, the rookie first-round pick riding shotgun, quite arguably passed the driver’s test as well.
But it was Pickett watching from the sidelines, another player about whom Tomlin is learning, the two of them also studying Trubisky. The Steelers’ new starter completed 21 of 38 pass attempts in the opener for 194 yards with one touchdown pass, taking one sack. He led a game-winning drive in overtime.
It wouldn’t be quite accurate to say that the offense was built around Trubisky, but certainly the manner of offense that they were trying to implement under Matt Canada with Trubisky under center is aware of what attributes he possesses and what he does well.
As you would imagine, Tomlin once again reiterated how much quarterback mobility was a priority and how the fact that Trubisky had that mobility was an attractive quality for him. He did have to make use of his legs to escape pressure, and he did so successfully, even hitting on some big plays as a result.
But as Tomlin was getting at, that’s just game one. This is a learning process. He’s getting to learn who Trubisky is, and vice versa. Trubisky is getting to know who he himself is in this offense, and the rest of the offense is learning him. It doesn’t happen overnight. But it’s certainly a comfort to be able to win while developing.