The Steelers agreed to sign Mitch Trubisky on Monday to a chorus of jeers, cheers, and bewilderment all in one. It was not one that will break the Steelers’ banks nor will it be one that gives much excitement. However, that is probably just the way it should be.
The first key to note is that Trubisky is not meant to provide a splash. Trubisky is here to add to a room that needs mobility and some veteran guidance aside from Mason Rudolph. At the very least, Trubisky has started games and knows the routine of being an NFL starting quarterback. A year behind Josh Allen and under Brian Daboll in Buffalo can only help with another perspective on how to prepare for games. With this being a two-year deal, the Steelers will have someone who can guide a potential rookie in 2022 or 2023 on the ins and outs of the game.
This does not preclude the Steelers from drafting a quarterback this year. Their love for Malik Willis is no secret. They may like Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, and Sam Howell, too. However, if the board does not fall the way they want it gives them a few different perspectives. For one, unless they believe one of these players is the guy of the future, they do not have to trade up. Second, they can pass on the class completely if they want to do that. They can wait for what appears to be a more lush 2023 class to draft the young quarterback. There is no rush to draft a quarterback anymore, but that door is open.
Of course, Trubisky brings his mobility. As one of the more efficient runners of the football from the quarterback spot over the past five years, Trubisky will be a welcomed addition to the room in that regard. Mike Tomlin has talked about mobility multiple times and hinted at his desire to have one. Now, that he has his mobile quarterback it could potentially open up for some creation out of structure, rollouts, and fit in fine with Matt Canada’s offense. Trubisky is no burner, but the functional athleticism and ability to make things happen out of structure will be welcomed.
In addition, Trubisky will provide competition for Mason Rudolph. Quite honestly, the tape of Trubisky shows a better quarterback than Rudolph. His mobility allows him to create more things by himself, and Trubisky, even through his highs and lows, makes some impressive throws in the middle of the field. That area will be opened up this year if the Steelers move to a more play-action-heavy offense. That is likely, as some of Trubisky’s best numbers come off of play-action passes.
So, this signing is what it is. 2022 is an extremely transitional year for the Steelers. They may put together what is a very talented defense. However, they will not have a dynamite quarterback to pair with any high-level defense they may put out there. Trubisky is what he is. This is not a great quarterback by any means. However, he’s mobile, can be an efficient runner of the ball, and works well in Canada’s scheme. Thus, the Steelers likely will lean on players like Najee Harris more in a run-heavy attack still.
Signing Trubisky is preferable to trading any day two draft picks for Jimmy Garoppolo. If the Steelers are trying to reload and rebuild with the defensive pieces they have, trading picks made no sense. Trubisky is not going to light the world on fire. There are plenty of concerns with his game. He is not a particularly good NFL quarterback. However, he just became the Steelers’ likely starter and gives them flexibility on their decision to acquire a rookie quarterback or not.
That is the crux of this move. It is not flashy nor will not make fans very excited. However, when a team is in a period of transition, some moves of stability are necessary. Trubisky can be that stability as a bridge quarterback option. That is all the Steelers are asking him to do and be.