UNITY TWP., Pa — It was the Mitch Trubisky day at Steelers camp on Thursday. While the quarterbacks have each had their days where they impress, it was Trubisky’s turn. While Trubisky has had his ups and down throughout training camp, Thursday might have been his best day.
In seven shots, Trubisky likely should have put the ball into the end zone three times. Najee Harris dropped a texas route that was a perfect ball. George Pickens had a fade ball thrown up his way, but the ball was knocked out of his hands by Levi Wallace. On the final play for him in seven shots, he found Pat Freiermuth in between two defenders and delivered a nice ball for the touchdown.
Still, it was in later team periods where Trubisky really shined. The first impressive throw was a 35-yard slot fade to Chase Claypool. Claypool was wide open on the throw, but Trubisky hit him in stride and on his outside shoulder. That might have been the best throw Trubisky had flashed all of training camp. It was to his left, as well.
Then, on the very next play, Trubisky hit a wide-open Diontae Johnson in stride for a 99-yard touchdown. Did it seem like Trubisky wanted to let the ball rip or what? Throughout the day, Trubisky threw the ball over 20 air yards multiple times. The Steelers even ran a 989 concept where there are two go routes and a deep over route. Claypool was the deep over out of the slot, and Trubisky hit him right out of his break 25 yards down the field.
In practice, it simply does not pay to be scared as a quarterback. Those are the testing grounds to see what works, how much touch a certain throw requires, and really simple to test the physical capabilities of a quarterback’s arm. So, Trubisky letting the ball fly is no surprise and a smart way to do things. Even if there are interceptions in practice, it is about Trubisky testing things out at Steelers camp. Trubisky said as much on Thursday.
“In practice, I try to be more aggressive, just because that’s the time where you’re able to test throws and I think sometimes you could, you could check it down and find completions all day but you’re not really going to know what you’re capable of or what the receivers are capable of unless you’re testing some throws in practice.,” Trubisky said.
That is a good philosophy to have. It is even better when those deep shots end up connecting. In the past week, Trubisky’s rapport with Johnson and Claypool has grown significantly. It seems that Trubisky is truly comfortable in what Pickens can do as well. The first-team offense is still trying to mesh, but it is clear that Trubisky is feeling things out.
More and more, Trubisky is looking better. The deep ball he has unlocks a dimension the Steelers offense simply has not had in a long time. If Trubisky can carry some of that spark into a game session, the Steelers’ offense has a chance to be more explosive than they were a year ago.
More to come….