On The PM Show with Andrew Filliponi and Chris Mueller, former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark talked about what he’s seen out of the 2022 Steelers so far. He said he doesn’t believe Mitch Trubisky allows the offense to put enough points to win in the NFL.
“You watch some of Mitch and it’s really good. And then, there are other pieces where he’s under pressure where he’s so risk-averse. He doesn’t allow you to have an offense that can put up the points you need to win in this league,” Clark said.
However, he cautioned against starting Kenny Pickett before he’s totally ready.
“I don’t dislike Kenny Pickett, but you have to be very present of mind that you don’t put him in a bad situation with kind of a treacherous row of games coming up at offensive line,” Clark said. “You want to make sure he’s in a position to succeed.”
So far, Clark isn’t wrong that the offense hasn’t put up enough points to win so far. Trubisky has been prone to check downs and dump-offs, although he did take some shots down the field in Thursday night’s loss to Cleveland, as Clark acknowledged.
“I thought he took some shots down the field, Obviously rolling to the right, getting outside the pocket to pass to George Pickens. I think he throws the dime to Diontae Johnson down the left side, which is a side of the field he doesn’t necessarily use a ton. “
Those deep shots are going to need to continue, and Trubisky is going to need to be more accurate (in the case of both his throws downfield to Pickens, although Pickens made an unbelievable catch on the first throw), and receivers are going to need to make plays and not drop the ball, as Johnson did Trubisky’s downfield shot to him. As a whole, the offense has to be better.
The blame can be spread around between Trubisky and the offensive play calling, but surprisingly, the offensive line hasn’t been a major issue so far. While Clark calls out starting Pickett in a stretch of games that might be tough for the offensive line, I’m not sure it’s necessarily fair to use the offensive line as an excuse to not start Pickett. For one, he looked like the best quarterback while facing pressure during the preseason, and the line simply hasn’t been bad enough to use that an excuse to not start Pickett.
It’s a moot point anyway because I don’t think the team is angling to start him anytime soon, but Pickett should start whenever the team decides he’s the best option, regardless of what the team looks like around him. Up to this point though, it’s clear Trubisky needs to be better to put this team in a position to win, and he’ll have a great chance to do so against the Jets on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium.