Mitch Trubisky’s plan to use the Buffalo Bills as a jumping board back into a starting NFL job has come to fruition, but whether it remains a long-term success is being brought into question.
Trubisky earned the starting job with the Pittsburgh Steelers after one season behind Josh Allen in Buffalo, but a pair of shaky performances left many calling on the Steelers to bench him in favor of rookie Kenny Pickett. While insiders believe that Trubisky’s job is safe for the moment, his chances of holding onto the starting job for the entirety of the season could be in doubt.
Trubisky on the Hot Seat
The Steelers have been uneven through two games, beating the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in the season opener and losing to the New England Patriots in Week 2. Trubisky has been equally uneven, completing 59.2 percent of his passes for 362 total yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
As Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports noted, Trubisky’s stats put him near the bottom of the league for starters.
“His passer rating (76.1) ranks 29th among active starters, he’s completing under 60% of his throws, and he’s averaging fewer yards per attempt (5.1) than literally every other first-string QB in the NFL,” Benjamin wrote.
As Trubisky has struggled with inconsistency, some fans and commentators have started to call for Pickett to get his shot.
“Steelers can probably bench Trubisky and get to moving to the Kenny Pickett era now,” tweeted Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway.
Trubisky Safe … for Now
Though the movement to bench Trubisky may be growing among pundits and some fans, the Steelers don’t appear to be losing confidence in the former Bills backup. In an appearance on his weekly television show, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin put to rest any notion that Trubisky is headed to the bench.
“We’re two weeks in,” Tomlin said. “I’m not even in the neighborhood of having a discussion like that, man. I’m more concerned about our collective growth and development and what we’re putting together in terms of what we desire to do to engineer victory, and he’s simply a component of it.”
As Benjamin of CBS Sports noted, some of the blame for the Steelers’ offensive woes may fall on second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada. In his first season with the team, Canada employed a more conservative passing attack that catered to the diminishing abilities of Ben Roethlisberger. Benjamin suggested that Canada remains in that mindset with Trubisky.
“As for Trubisky, whose athleticism was often overshadowed by ill-timed decisions in Chicago, it’s very possible Canada’s system is protecting the QB from himself,” Benjamin wrote. “But that brings us back to square one, indicting Trubisky as a low-ceiling signal-caller. There are other issues, to be sure: why isn’t Canada more frequently utilizing Trubisky’s legs, one of the QB’s best physical tools? Why is there not more effort to creatively get the ball in the hands of play-makers like Diontae Johnson and George Pickens? But perhaps Canada and Co. do not trust Trubisky enough to turn him loose in any fashion.”