PITTSBURGH — Mitch Trubisky wants to let it rip. As he steps into the starter role for Kenny Pickett, who is injured, Trubisky knows what this offense has been. It’s become a lazy experience and, more than anything, one that props up the same issues weekly. Trubisky hopes to break that cycle, and one way he thinks he can do that is by pushing the ball down the field.
Whenever he gets into the game, you might notice that the Steelers automatically turn to calling some more shot plays. He needs to take care of the football, but an aggressive game plan to take the top off the defense could also allow the Steelers’ offense to pop. Offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner notes that they have the guys to do that, and while most will remain the same, that aggressiveness could bleed through.
“I don’t know. I think he enjoys shot plays, you know what I’m saying? We’re calling shots to take them,” Faulkner said. “When you’ve got guys like 14 (George Pickens) or 18 (Diontae Johnson) that can make plays down the field, down the grass for you, you want to take those shots. I don’t know, there is a personality there, you know what I mean, for him that’s different than 8 (Kenny Pickett) just because they’re different people. But from a game plan perspective, we’re going to have the same approach.”
Mitch Trubisky backed up those thoughts. But he has thrown some errant passes into double or even triple coverage at times. Pittsburgh’s offense has functioned as a poor unit but one that does not turn the ball over. Trubisky can now allow that to seep into the fabric of this team’s offense. One of Trubisky’s trump cards is that mindset of pushing the ball down the field, and he intends to create explosive plays.
“I’m trying to be aggressive, push the ball down the field, help this offense be explosive,” Trubisky said. “I know I got to take care of the football. I’m just looking to be more efficient this week and execute well all together. But I like to be aggressive, push the ball downfield and we got to find ways to score points. So, I’m trying to be that catalyst.”
Before he became a backup, Trubisky struggled mightily as a deep ball passer in 2020. He completed just six of 33 passes, throwing four interceptions to two touchdowns. But last season, that changed. In fact, Trubisky was an elite deep-ball thrower by Pro Football Focus’ standards, which graded him with a 91,9 passing grade on those throws. He completed 12 of 31 passes for 348 yards with nine big-time throws.
In other words, this has come to mixed results. But Trubisky, over his career, has proven to create explosive plays off play action. That could be something he looks to do and embrace as a way to get the group moving. Regardless, the Steelers will need Trubisky to play well over the next few weeks for their playoff push.