Trubisky named Week 1 starter for Steelers | News, Sports, Jobs
PITTSBURGH — Mike Tomlin deliberately — and quite effectively — refused to announce a starting quarterback for months, even when all signs pointed to Mitch Trubisky.
The longtime Pittsburgh Steelers head coach wanted to wait — as he said time and time again during the offseason and throughout training camp — the time had come. “appropriate.”
In the end, Tomlin let his players make the announcement for him, then quietly reinforced it not with his booming voice but with a piece of paper.
Trubisky will be the starter on Sunday when Pittsburgh enters the post-Ben Roethlisberger era in Cincinnati. Tomlin placed Trubisky’s name atop the depth chart Monday afternoon, just hours after Trubisky’s teammates selected him as one of Pittsburgh’s five co-captains for the 2022 season.
“I just think he’s a guy that people rally around,” said defensive tackle Cam Heyward of Trubisky, who arrived in free agency in March. “It’s all about the team. He is very involved. He understands and Coach T says so, he carries our hopes and dreams every game.”
Trubisky has said all the right things and seemingly done all the right things since signing a two-year contract for the chance to replace Roethlisberger. He reached out to returning players on offense individually and welcomed skill position players to his home in South Florida in the spring in hopes of building chemistry.
Trubisky started the spring atop the depth chart and despite a push from Mason Rudolph and rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett — both of whom performed well throughout the offseason schedule and training camp — Trubisky never gave Tomlin many reasons to change things.
On the contrary, Tomlin reinforced the status quo.
Rudolph is listed as the primary backup, with Pickett starting his first NFL season on the third string, a move that gives Pickett time to acclimate to pro life and gives Trubisky some breathing room. Even if he struggles to return to a starting role after spending 2021 as a backup at Buffalo, the second pick in the 2017 draft is unlikely to be replaced by Rudolph in a game unless he doesn’t get hurt.
Trubisky toed the line early Monday afternoon before he was officially anointed, simply saying “you’re not gonna hear it from me,” when asked if being co-captain meant he won the job.
The response was typical of Trubisky, who made a point of diverting attention as best he could and saying as little as possible. The way he understands it, his actions will speak much louder than any words ever could.
“You just want to be that guy day in and day out that guys can seem like, ‘Hey, if I do it like this guy does, we’re going in the right direction'” said Trubisky, who went 29-21 in four seasons with Chicago.
Heyward, reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt, special teams ace Miles Killebrew and sophomore running back Najee Harris were also voted captains.
The 24-year-old Harris set a franchise rookie record by rushing for 1,200 yards in 2021. He quickly earned the respect of his teammates thanks to his work ethic and discipline.
“You know, he’s a guy who leads by example, who doesn’t say much” Heyward said of Harris. “But I just think he was destined to be captain. He was a guy who, when you looked at our roster, you know, he’s the cowbell. And so we had cowbells who didn’t have haven’t been captains, but that’s what he does off the pitch.
Trubisky found him recounting that Harris flew to Pittsburgh the day Trubisky officially signed. Harris gave Trubisky an overview of the team’s offense and goals for 2022 and beyond.
“He was there for me from day one” Trubisky said. “And to me, it’s the little things that people don’t see that leaders do on a day-to-day basis, having these relationships that go deeper and beyond (the surface) with your teammates. And that’s why he is what he is.
NOTES: The Steelers signed S Andrew Adams, CB Josh Jackson and LB Delontae Scott to the practice squad on Monday. … Pro Bowl WR Diontae Johnson warmed up with his teammates on Monday, but didn’t make most of the practice games. Johnson injured his left shoulder in the preseason finale against Detroit on August 28, although Tomlin said at the time there was a chance Johnson could have returned to the game if he did. was the regular season.