After the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football, Brooke Pryor of ESPN asked Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin whether he would consider making a change at quarterback — or play caller — during the upcoming minibye.
“I’m not in that mindset. I’m interested in reviewing this tape and looking at the totality of it and how we collectively get better. So the answer to that question is: Definitively no,” he said, during his post-game press conference.
That seems a pretty clear indication that Tomlin plans to continue to remain patient with the development of the Steelers offense. And that Mitch Trubisky will still be Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback when the team returns to action against the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium on Oct. 2. This as opposed to turning to 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett, who has served as Trubisky’s backup in each of the team’s first three games, but has yet to see any regular-season action.
Mike Tomlin on Mitch Trubisky: ‘I Thought He Made Some Plays’
On the other hand, Mike Tomlin made it clear that Mitch Trubisky — much like the rest of the club — didn’t meet expectations during Thursday’s 29-17 loss, which dropped the Steelers to 1-2 and raised Cleveland’s record to 2-1.
Asked what he thought of Trubisky’s performance, Tomlin said: “I thought he made some plays but we all collectively came up short and so that’s how we measure performance. Winning is our business and we didn’t handle business. So we don’t break that apart and look for the feel-good,” he concluded.
Indeed, Trubisky had his moments against Cleveland, but in the end, his performance paled in comparison to that of Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who finished 21 of 31 for 220 yards with two touchdown passes, good for a 109.6 passer rating. By way of comparison, Trubisky went 20 of 32 for 207 yards, with a passer rating of 81.1. He also rushed the ball twice for seven yards and a touchdown.
Tomlin Not Exactly ‘Encouraged’ By Progress on Offense
The bottom line is that Pittsburgh’s offense has scored just four touchdowns in three games, which has led to questions about the job security of Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Tomlin’s afore-referenced answer seems to indicate that Canada’s job is safe, at least for the near-term future.
But again, a modicum of progress was not enough for the longtime Steelers head coach, who has never had a losing season in 15-plus years on the job, but could see that streak threatened this year.
Asked if he was “encouraged” by what he saw from the offense, particularly in the first half, Tomlin said: “I wasn’t looking to be encouraged, I was looking to win the game. And so I would expect us to get better in all phases, so I don’t know that I share that perspective.”
Pittsburgh’s offense will certainly need to improve in a hurry if the team hopes to remain competitive in the AFC North. After hosting the New York Jets in early October, the team’s schedule gets tougher, as the rest of that month features road games at Buffalo, at Miami and at Philadelphia, along with a home game against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 16.