When the Pittsburgh Steelers and head coach Mike Tomlin made the switch under center from veteran quarterback Mitch Trubisky to rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett at halftime of an eventual loss to the New York Jets, the move was expected to provide a spark for the Steelers and improve the offense overall.
Instead, it’s been — at times — worse than when Trubisky was in the lineup, leading to continued questions and calls for the job of second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada, and doubts of Pickett as a potential franchise quarterback, which is rather unfair just four starts into his career in the black and gold.
Still, those questions and concerns remain regarding Canada and Pickett.
For Trubisky, who might not have been given a fair shake as the starting quarterback in the Steel City, it’s important for Pickett to stay the course in his first season as the starter, focusing on what the quarterbacks can get better at, he stated to 93.7 The Fan’s Jeff Hatthorn Tuesday. Trubisky also highlighted the need for the offense to get back to the basics, starting in practice.
“Just stay the course, it’s rough right now but we need to focus on what we can get better on as quarterbacks,” Trubisky said Tuesday, according to 93. The Fan. “That’s reviewing the film, looking at our mistakes and trying to hold the other guys accountable.”
Trubisky was rather pointed Tuesday with his comments about accountability, highlighting the need for the coaches to hold the players accountable from the top down, especially with the endless penalty issues the Steelers are having this season.
Still, even with the lack of accountability that Trubisky has called out, he also believes that the Steelers offense is the same as when he was in the lineup, and highlighted the need to get back to the basics and playing as one.
“You are seeing the same thing when I was in there,” Trubisky added, according to 93.7 The Fan. “We got to get back to the fundamentals, eliminating penalties. Everybody being on the same page, 11 guys playing as one. Find ways to score and get some points.
“We are moving the ball a little bit. We got to be better in the red zone, better on third down.”
It’s the same thing every week from the Steelers, especially on offense, when it comes to comments from players and coaches. Cut down the penalties, be better on third down, take advantage of opportunities, score more points.
None of it is revelatory.
It shouldn’t be at this point, because it’s all plain as day when it comes to the Steelers.
For Trubisky, correcting those issues starts in practice, practicing harder, being more attentive to details and truly being locked in. Those comments echo what Pickett stated Sunday after the loss to the Eagles regarding guys not studying enough.
“To me it all starts in practice. We have to practice harder. We got to be more detailed. We have to be locked into the walk-throughs,” Trubisky said, according to 93.7 The Fan. “We got to really get back to the fundamentals of the game-blocking, catching, running, throwing. Once we are good fundamentally we can continue to expand.”
It’s pretty concerning to hear those comments from guys like Pickett and Trubisky, especially when it comes to preparing for the games. While it’s hard to know who they’re talking about exactly, maybe it had something to do with the Steelers being willing to trade away Chase Claypool for a second round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft?
That’s just trying to connect some dots that might not connect, but it’s quite clear the Steelers have a leadership problem on offense, and what you see is what you get with the offense this season. It won’t get fixed this season, unfortunately. But it’s good to hear team leaders calling others out, taking accountability and demanding more, even if those team leaders are on the bench.