Ex-Bills QB Officially Named Steelers’ Starter in Tight Three-Way Race

Mitch Trubisky

Getty Mitch Trubisky throws a pass before a Buffalo Bills game.

After spending a season behind Josh Allen in Buffalo, Mitch Trubisky is on track to be an NFL starter again.

The former Bills backup has been the de facto starter through training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and head coach Mike Tomlin made it official this week. He noted that Trubisky is currently the starter, though gave credit to veteran Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett in what he said has been a tight race.

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Trubisky on Top in Pittsburgh

Though most around the Steelers had been operating under the assumption that Trubisky would be the starter in Week 1, Tomlin officially announced on August 9 that he would be under center if the season started today.

Trubisky said he was happy to be a starter again after having spent the majority of four seasons as the Chicago Bears starter.

“It means a lot,” Trubisky told CBS Sports HQ’s Jonathan Jones and Bryant McFadden. “Ever since I came here, I came here for the opportunity to start and lead a team. I definitely have been given that and I’m just trying to take advantage of that every day.

“I think playing for a coach like Coach Tomlin, it just gives you confidence. I’ve learned so much since I’ve gotten here. He’s taught me so much, and I think he really gives everybody on the team confidence the way he prepares the way he knows the game. It’s been a lot of fun, and it means a lot to me and I’m just looking forward to it. We’re building day by day and if we rolled it out, I’d go out there first, and I’m looking forward to that.”

It’s not clear how strong a grip Trubisky has on the starting job, as Tomlin said all three quarterbacks have looked good at times.

“They’re making it difficult for us,” Tomlin told CBS Sports. “It’s tough to manage three capable guys, but they’re forcing us to do it because they’re making the necessary plays. They’re anticipating, the timing has been good, [and] the accuracy has been good.”

Many believe that Trubisky could be on a short leash, as the team would move to Pickett if he struggled. If Trubisky remains the starter as the season goes on, he would face the Bills when the teams play on October 9. He saw limited playing time behind Allen last season but looked strong in his appearances, completing 75 percent of his passes and rushing for a touchdown.

Another Former Bills Quarterback Has Opportunity

Trubisky may not be the only former Bills quarterback with a chance to start this season. Tyrod Taylor, who helped break Buffalo’s 17-year playoff drought with a 9-7 season in 2017, took a rep with the first team at New York Giants training camp as starter Daniel Jones struggled.

While Jones is expected to begin the season as the Giants’ starter, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan noted that Taylor has been the better quarterback in training camp.

“It would be hard to make a case that Jones has looked better than Taylor through the first 10 practices of camp,” Duggan wrote.

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