Steelers overreactive ‘quarterback controversy’ is completely unwarranted
Some Pittsburgh Steelers fans now seem to think the team should go back to Mitch Trubisky. Here’s why there’s no real quarterback controversy.
I can’t say that I’m shocked by what I witnessed on Monday morning following the Pittsburgh Steelers victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This was a big win for Mike Tomlin and his team as they avoid a dreaded 1-5 record to begin the season. However, I was already prepared to see some outrageous overreactions following an upset win over a quality opponent.
As you know, Steelers rookie quarterback, Kenny Pickett, was forced to leave the game early in the second half with what was later confirmed to be a concussion. At that point, former starter, Mitch Trubisky, stepped into the game and made some excellent throws — his biggest of which was a pass to Connor Heyward on a blown coverage that went for 45 yards.
Trubisky led the Steelers to a fourth-quarter touchdown to maintain the lead, and on Pittsburgh’s final possession, he had some impressive throws to Chase Claypool and moved the chains with his legs to wear down the clock and cruise to victory.
First of all, I don’t want to take anything away from Mitch Trubisky’s performance. I thought he played very well. The veteran finished the second half completing 9 of 12 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown, via ESPN stats. However, the ‘quarterback controversy’ nonsense that ensued was completely uncalled for.
Steelers do not have a QB controversy on their hands
Do not be fooled, my friends. The performance that we saw from Trubisky in the second half is not what Pittsburgh Steelers fans should expect the rest of the way if the team were to go back to him as the starter. It’s just not reasonable. We’ve already seen four-and-a-half games with Mitch at the helm, and the results were thoroughly underwhelming. Why would we suddenly expect that to change?
Not only that, but on a larger scale, Trubisky is now in year six of his NFL career, and we know that he’s not a player who is going to routinely successfully drive the ball down the field. It’s just not who he is. We are talking about a guy who averages 6.7 yards per attempt in his career, according to Pro Football Reference. Even with his monster second half against the Buccaneers, that number is at just 6.2 on the season this year.
I think this was a classic case of ‘playing with house money.’ Trubisky knew that he had nothing left to lose and that he was going to be heading back to the bench when Kenny Pickett returns from his concussion. He was going to sling it and try to make the most of his limited opportunities. At this point, he knows his future isn’t in Pittsburgh, and he’s probably already trying to audition for his next role in 2023.
Yet, despite knowing all of this, many fans took to Twitter to voice their support for Mitch Trubisky as the better QB option for the Steelers. Folks, we’ve been down that path before, and the results weren’t good. Pittsburgh was near the bottom of the league in every major statistical category when Trubisky was at the helm.
Once the Steelers made the decision to roll with Kenny Pickett, that is it. He’s the guy. They can’t risk shaking the development or confidence of the player they believe is their franchise quarterback to go back to an unspectacular veteran who is in his sixth year. It just doesn’t make any sense.
Remember, Trubisky’s obvious struggles are the reason they made the switch in the first place. He couldn’t even go toe-to-toe with Jacoby Brissett and Mac Jones before being pulled at halftime against Zach Wilson and the New York Jets.
The whole notion that Pittsburgh should somehow go back to an older stop-gap quarterback is mind-boggling, and I can’t believe I even had to write this article to say so. Sadly, that’s what some fans believe we should do. The good news is that I can tell you with certainty that there is no real quarterback controversy with the Steelers — nor should there be.