It’s been a while since the Pittsburgh Steelers have last played a football game at this point, and the energy has dragged down some in the meantime. It hasn’t helped that they have lost their last two games, within four days of each other. The point is, we haven’t had much to talk about that hasn’t been talked to death.
Like Mitch Trubisky. And the quarterback position. And who is manning the quarterback position. And why head coach Mike Tomlin continually insists that he’s sticking with Trubisky. He reiterated his position last night on the Mike Tomlin Show. “He’s been better each and every week, and I’ve seen enough evidence of continual improvement for me to be encouraged”, he said, “so we’re gonna keep working with him as well”.
It reaffirms the comments he has made about his starting quarterback after each week. Prior to last Thursday’s game, he said he was not close to running out of patience with Trubisky. After the game, when asked if he was thinking about making any immediate changes, he said, “definitively, no”.
Tomlin did offer one area in which he felt that Trubisky could get better—at Savran’s prompting. After suggesting that many have observed Trubisky is hesitant to step up in the pocket, the head coach responded, “At times, and that’s a fundamental thing, and that’s an area that he could improve in, certainly”.
Coincidentally, that happens to be something that ‘the other quarterback’, rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett, seemed to excel at during the preseason. Trubisky did not play extensively in comparison, but he did manage to avoid pressure—although more so by moving the pocket rather than stepping up into it.
The Steelers’ offensive line, particularly in pass protection, has improved steadily through the first three games of the regular season, but Trubisky has still taken hits. Some of it has been his own doing, which he has admitted, and again, has been because of his hesitance to step up in the pocket and preference for rolling out instead, so this is not an insignificant topic.
What will come of this? Probably nothing. There isn’t any compelling reason to believe that Trubisky will suddenly start stepping up into the pocket more. That wasn’t his game in Chicago. Maybe he has some jitters still after a year out of the starting lineup, but that’s the closest thing to comfort I can provide on the topic.