Earlier today, Mike Tomlin officially named Mitch Trubisky the Steelers starting quarterback to open the 2022 season. Also today, The Ringer released their rankings of all starting quarterbacks going into the 2022 season. The rankings will be updated week-to-week, but as it stands, they clearly aren’t big fans of the idea of starting Trubisky, as he ranked No. 32 on their rankings.
Steven Ruiz, who created the rankings, wrote that Trubisky is “an athletic system quarterback who can’t be trusted to make his own decisions.” He did praise Trubisky’s creativity, though.
“If defenses aren’t wary of Trubisky breaking the pocket, he’s going to make them pay. He’d have a higher creativity grade if he posed more of a threat as a passer, but when he decides to take off on a scramble, he rarely gets back into passing mode. Considering his strengths and weaknesses, that might be for the best.”
As for his biggest weakness that Ruiz alludes to, he believes Trubisky needs to work on his decision-making.
“To be fair, the Bears offense, under both Fox and Nagy, didn’t give Trubisky much of a chance to develop, so it’s not a surprise that he developed bad habits. It’s not that he makes bad decisions; it’s just that the good decisions he does make come a second too late.”
The sarcastic side of me wants to say that the Steelers’ offensive line won’t give Trubisky the option of making good decisions too late, because he’ll be sacked before he can have the option of making a bad throw.
While that’s a whole other problem entirely, the critique is a fair one. In Trubisky’s best season in 2018, his 12 interceptions were tied for the fifth-highest in the NFL, and he had problems finding open receivers and making throws in tight windows. In the preseason, he did a better job in those tight windows and didn’t throw an interception, but the concerns are valid.
I think it’s being overlooked a bit though just how bad the scheme in Chicago was for how Trubisky played. I think Matt Canada’s scheme, while not perfect, will help open the field up a bit more for Trubisky and help benefit his playmaking and creativity. If he’s able to have some success, it could boost his value heading into 2023, where he’s unlikely to suit up for the Steelers with Kenny Pickett as the QB-in-waiting.
Even if Trubisky does struggle this year, Pickett looked good in the preseason and would be at least a capable fill-in this season. I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to put Trubisky last given that some of his “bad starting quarterback” competition is Jacoby Brissett, Zach Wilson and Davis Mills, but I can understand where Ruiz is coming from given that Trubisky spent last year as a backup and didn’t look great towards the end of his tenure with Chicago. Obviously, we’ll have to see how this season plays out, but I have a feeling that Trubisky will outplay his initial ranking.