Mitch Trubisky Emulates ‘Versatile’ Taysom Hill in Steelers Practice
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are facing a unique challenge when they welcome the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. That unique challenge comes in the form of Taysom Hill, who is the quintessential ‘everything’ chess piece. Hill has played running back, tight end, wide receiver, and quarterback on the offense this year. So, the Steelers called on Mitch Trubisky to help emulate Hill’s versatility.
So, throughout the week, Trubisky worked around the formation to give Pittsburgh the best look they could. That would not just be running routes, but showing off during quarterback runs, too. Trubisky never got the chance to show off the physicality that Hill does, but Trubisky made sure to give the Steelers the best look possible.
“I was Taysom Hill this week, and I wanted to give our defense the best look at him as I possibly could,” Trubisky said. “When you have quarterback mobility, you often gain an extra blocker. The running back next to him can be blocking to get you the advantage number-wise in the run game. Most of the time, you’ll know when it’s coming with Taysom at quarterback. But I tried to mimick him as best as I could.”
There are a few traits that Trubisky looked at in Hill’s tape to try and replicate. One of those was eagerness of Hill to play physical. However, the Steelers did not have pads, so Trubisky had to draw back on that a bit. But Hill is a one-cut, downhill runner, and that is what Trubisky looked to emulate with his legs this week. That is what makes Hill a unique runner at the quarterback position.
“I tried to show his speed because he’s a quick runner,” Trubisky said. “Man, he gets downhill, like a one-cut guy. We didn’t carry pads this week, so I don’t know if coach wanted me to run physical, but he is a tough, physical runner. It’s one-stick, get downhill, no dancing around, and that’s what I did.”
So, the Steelers matched Hill with a returning Damontae Kazee. With no Minkah Fitzpatrick, those plans could go haywire. But the Saints try to create an extra gap so that the defensive back is isolated on the perimeter. With that in mind, it is Kazee will be tasked with trying to slow down Hill.
“They’ll bring in those big tight ends to try and create gaps,” Trubisky said. “What they often do is try to get that extra gap to give him a one-on-one with a defensive back. We have to be ready for that. They’re just trying to get a good matchup there I think.”
So, will Trubisky’s impersonation be enough to help the Steelers’ defense march to victory? It will not be a seamless transition, and Tre Norwood may be called upon, too. But the Steelers had a clearly defined plan, and it is hard to see them going away from that larger idea.