Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made it official Tuesday as to who will be under center in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The answer to that question is Mitchell Trubisky — as was expected. Trubisky, who inked a two-year, $14.285 million deal this offseason, came into training camp the starter and never relinquished it. Trubisky fended off 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett and longtime backup Mason Rudolph to earn the starting nod. He will be the successor to Ben Roethlisberger, who retired this offseason after 18 seasons with the Steelers.
“We’re just really comfortable with what Mitch has shown us,” Tomlin said, via ESPN. “He’s a guy that came to us with franchise quarterback experience. He’s comfortable in those shoes. [He’s] been the focal point of a football team, in the organization before… Like I mentioned, when we acquired him, he took the Bears to the playoffs two out of four years. He has a winning record as a starting quarterback. Those things were attractive to us.
“His athleticism and mobility were attractive to us. He took care of the football in-stadium, all our quarterbacks did.”
Trubisky, 28, last started games in the NFL with the Chicago Bears from 2017-20. He guided the Bears to a 29-21 record and earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2018. In the 50 starts, he threw for 10,609 yards with 64 touchdowns and 37 interceptions on 64% passing. He spent the 2021 season with the Buffalo Bills as Josh Allen’s backup. He was effective in three preseason games, completing 24-of-34 passes for 283 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Kenny Pickett Will Wait for Opportunity to Be QB1 for Pittsburgh Steelers
Trubisky received quite the push from Pickett, who starred during the exhibition games. The Pitt product completed 29-of-36 passes for 261 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. His 124.7 passer rating paced all rookie quarterbacks.
Tomlin said he’s been pleased with Pickett’s development and expects that to continue during the Steelers’ regular season.
“I thought his acceleration of development really took off once we stepped into stadiums,” Tomlin said. “And once we started stepping into stadiums, his decision-making — the fluidity of it — his competitive spirit, his pinpoint accuracy, all of those things I thought really came to the forefront. I thought that he grew — and grew at a really fast pace once we got into stadiums.
“And I also think it’s reasonable to expect that growth and development to continue as we push into the regular season.”