It was the NFL’s worst-kept secret and Mike Tomlin was in no hurry to make an official proclamation before announcing Tuesday that Mitch Trubisky would be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 1 starter. While Pittsburgh played musical chairs with their depth chart, the true quarterback order – Trubisky, Pickett, Rudolph – came as no surprise to anyone in that room. In fact, speaking to reporters today, Trubisky says he was told last week the job was his.
“They let us know last week so we had a heads up,” he said via the team website. “I was kind of anticipating that and just excited for the opportunity. Now we prepare. Get ready to go.”
Trubisky was always the favorite to open the Steelers’ 2022 season, their first of the post-Ben Roethlisberger era. Signed ten minutes into free agency on a deal agreed to during the league’s tampering period, Trubisky ran as the team’s starter since spring OTAs. He entered training camp as the #1 and rarely gave up starter snaps. It was his job to lose and he didn’t. And now he’ll be given the keys to the franchise.
Trubisky explained why he’s the right man to lead the Steelers.
“I had a really good camp. I came in here with lots of experience. Showed I could lead the team. Show I’ve been playing really well, throwing the football really well. So now we go out there and execute on the field.”
Trubisky’s leadership shined this summer and despite the competition, he brought no ego to the Steelers’ QB room. Pittsburgh’s offense is looking for leaders with one of the youngest units in the game, not a single starter older than 26. His play this summer was a bit volatile but overall good and he showcased his athletic ability and ability to push the ball downfield, especially inside stadiums. Here’s what we wrote about Trubisky in our training camp recap:
“Trubisky ran the show well and was a good leader and commander of the offense, despite being new to the team and scheme himself. He was aggressive and took more shots downfield, especially early on in camp. He played well in the preseason opener, driving the offense for an opening-drive touchdown and his mobility has been an asset in both games. His ability to. scramble and makes plays with his legs have been valuable behind a suspect offensive line that’s forced him to run.”
Pittsburgh’s made their decision and now they’ll have to ride the wave of the season. It’s critical for Trubisky and the Steelers to get off to a hot start, facing AFC North opponents in Week 1 and 3 against the Bengals and Browns. A good start by Trubisky will give him margin and a buffer and calm any thoughts about the team switching to Pickett. The Steelers dug out of a 1-3 hole last year but two losses to in-division opponents in a tough AFC North would be the worst way to begin the year.