Though the stats sheet and the film may have left much to be desired from the quarterback position for the Pittsburgh Steelers coming out of Sunday’s 23-20 win in overtime over the Cincinnati Bengals, there’s a growing sense of belief and confidence inside the locker room within veteran Mitch Trubisky.
Against the Bengals in his first career start with the Steelers, Trubisky completed 21-of-38 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown, leading the Steelers into scoring position twice in overtime before Chris Boswell eventually drilled the game-winning 53-yarder to move the Steelers to 1-0.
Coming out of the game, the general consensus regarding Trubisky’s play was that he left quite a few plays on the field, didn’t see the field well and was slow to work through his progressions, leaving much to be desired offensively. Second-year running back Najee Harris, appearing on SiriusXM radio with host Adam Schein Tuesday morning, stated that he liked what he saw from Trubisky overall, seeing a guy take control of the offense in his first game, remaining calm and putting the Steelers in position to succeed.
“You know, he took control of the offense in his first game with the Steelers. He was calm,” Harris said to Schein, according to audio via SiriusXM Radio. “Like I said, he made a couple really good plays, set us up in good field position and to capitalize on it.
“So, you know, just, us as building as a team though, I think that this is the first brick and now we got momentum, so we gotta keep just going after it and keep stacking bricks.”
Without any semblance of a run game — outside of jet sweeps — to speak of, the Steelers asked Trubisky to do quite a bit of heavy lifting in his first game with the black and gold, throwing 38 times and scrambling three others in the win. Offensively, the scheme didn’t do a ton to help him, in terms of scheming guys open consistently with creative route combinations with everything seemingly being boundary throws or short, quick tosses to the likes of Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth.
That said, Trubisky made some clutch throws late, including the one-handed grab by Johnson down the sideline in overtime, as well as the broken play throw over the middle to Freiermuth that helped set up the game-winning field goal from Boswell.
As Harris stated, Trubisky made some plays when it mattered most, but most importantly it’s all a process for the Steelers. Sunday’s win was the first brick in the wall. They have to keep stacking and taking advantage of a favorable schedule here early in the season.