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‘One Of The Best Teammates:’ Pickett Leaning On Trubisky Ahead Of First Start

No one likes to be benched. Especially not someone in Mitch Trubisky’s shoes. 2022 was supposed to be a clean slate for him, a chance to start fresh, an opportunity to start after riding the bench last season and two years removed from an unceremonious end to his time in Chicago.

That’s all out the window. Trubisky is again the team’s backup, giving way to Kenny Pickett for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. Despite understandable disappointment in the demotion, Pickett praised the way Trubisky has handled the situation, still serving as a mentor to the man who has taken his job.

“Mitch is one of the best teammates I’ve been able to come across,” Pickett told reporters today via a team transcript. “I’m extremely grateful to have him in this room. I supported him a ton when he was in there and he’s done the same for me.”

Throughout the year, the Steelers’ quarterback room has contained two traits. A lot of competition and little ego. Each man – Trubisky, Pickett, and Mason Rudolph – have handled themselves professionally, something Mike Tomlin’s repeatedly pointed out over this entire process. There’s no question Trubisky has frustrated and probably disagreed with his benching Sunday, and he has a case to argue, but the reality is he’s now the backup. He’ll have to accept his current role.

As Tomlin noted Tuesday, Trubisky will retain his captain status and be on the field for each coin toss, perhaps making him the first backup quarterback in recent history to go out for the coin toss. Trubisky’s been in similar shoes before, briefly the backup to start his Bears’ career and serving as the Bills’ #2 all last season.

Pickett is the team’s answer for the foreseeable future. One bad game won’t change that. But Trubisky is still just one snap away from reentering the game, one injury to Pickett is all it’d take. So while he is no longer the starter, Trubisky has to think of himself as the starter-in-waiting, just as Pickett did prior to this week.

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