Few quarterbacks are heading into the 2022 NFL season with as much pressure on them as Mitch Trubisky.
Trubisky has big cleats to fill for the Pittsburgh Steelers who will have a starting quarterback not named Ben Roethlisberger for the first time in nearly two decades.
While head coach Mike Tomlin dragged on a so-called “competition” all summer, everyone knew it was Trubisky’s to lose. And he didn’t.
Though preseason is meaningless and the Steelers competition (Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions) teams that’ll end up three of the worst by the regular season’s end, it’s all we have to go by. All three quarterbacks put together a strong preseason.
- 24/34, 283 yards, 2 touchdowns
- 29/36, 261 yards, 3 touchdowns
- 26/39, 220 yards, 2 touchdowns
The quarterback race was a tight one, but Tomlin and the Steelers signed Trubisky for experience, and that’s what they’ll go with. Trubisky is 29-21 as a starter and led the Chicago Bears to two playoff appearances in four seasons.
But if Trubisky doesn’t win games — and immediately — Steelers fans won’t hold back. They’ve been spoiled by a franchise quarterback and non-losing seasons.
How Will Mitch Trubisky Handle Pressure?
In Pittsburgh, fans are unkind to struggling quarterbacks. Kordell Stewart had beer poured on him, fans once cheered Terry Bradshaw’s shoulder injury and Tommy Maddox had garbage thrown on his law. More recently, Mason Rudolph was booed as he ran onto the field.
This caused Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ron Cook to ponder what could happen if Mitch Trubisky struggles and how he’ll handle it all.
“Imagine what the Acrisure Stadium crowd will be like if the team loses the first game and Trubisky throws an early interception against New England in the first home game on September 18,” Cook wrote. “Hopefully, for Trubisky’s sake, he developed a tough skin after playing before another demanding fan base in Chicago.
“It’s going to be fun to watch how Trubisky handles the scrutiny and pressure of the job, one of the toughest in Pittsburgh. He comes in facing the double whammy of having to replace Hall of Fame-bound Ben Roethlisberger with former Pitt star and No. 1 pick Kenny Pickett breathing down his neck. Most Steelers fans want to see Pickett as the starter — right now, today.”
While Kenny Pickett won’t be the Week 1 starter, there’s that possibility that he could sometime in the 2022 season.
Steelers 2022 Captains
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced their five chosen captains for the 2022 NFL season on September 5, the day before Mike Tomlin named Mitch Trubisky the starter. When Trubisky’s name appeared as co-captain of the offense, it was even less of a shocker to see him listed as the top quarterback.
“I just think he is a guy people rally around,” Cam Heyward told Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley of Trubisky being named captain. “He is all about team. He is very bought in. He understands, Coach T (Mike Tomlin) says it, he is carrying our hopes and dreams on every single play. He has gotten more and more comfortable. He came in with the right mindset, always trying to get better.”
This year marks Heyward’s eighth consecutive year of being named a captain. But he never takes it for granted.
“There is a lot of responsibility that comes with it,” Heyward said. “You want to be an extension of your teammates. I want to represent them the right way. I want to be accountable. I want others accountable and make sure we get this thing going right.
“Every year it’s a new opportunity. I do it because these guys voted for me. All I asked is when I do that, I represent them. I make sure that I do my part. I want to be the reason that we win. I want to make sure everybody plays up to that standard, including myself.”