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Mitch Trubisky hitting all the right notes thus far, but improvement must come on field

The new signal caller of the Pittsburgh Steelers needs to prove himself on the field, not off it.

NFL: Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to introductions, Mitch Trubisky has been saying all the right things as he was introduced as the latest quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sure, there will likely be a competition between Trubisky and Mason Rudolph/Dwayne Haskins, but I think we can all agree it is Trubisky’s job to lose.

As far as narratives go, many have been circulating Trubisky since he was the Chicago Bears’ first round draft pick, and second overall, in the 20218 NFL Draft. He’s been labeled a project, a runner, a bust and someone who can’t throw from the pocket. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean he can’t get the job done as a member of the black and gold.

“He was forcing himself to throw from the pocket,” Jim Miller, who covers the Bears, told the Steelers official website. “The Bears were trying to make him a pocket passer, and at times he just needs to be who he is.

“He can do the RPO stuff. He’s got some jets, he can scoot, he’s a good athlete and he’s tough. At times his toughness gets the best of him. He’s gotta learn to get down, slide, get out of bounds, those type of things.

“In terms of his pocket passing awareness, it was improving in Chicago but it can get better. His biggest struggle is the long ball. I think his long ball’s a little flat. He can correct that where he just puts a little more arc on it where it becomes a more catchable ball for the receivers. But he’s young, he’s talented, he’s won and I can’t stress enough he’s very respected in the locker room.”

Outside of his physical prowess on the field, there is one newly minted member of the Steelers who knows a lot about Trubisky. Why? Because he blocked for him in the windy city. That would be none other than James Daniels, and he spoke glowingly about the leader Trubisky is in the locker room.

“He cares about his teammates, but he cares about his teammates more than football,” Daniels said. “He cares about them as a person, always talks to them and asks how they’re doing, how their family’s doing, things like that.

“Mitch would text me all the time when we were playing together. It’s tough coming in as a rookie, new city, things like that. Mitch was always texting me, checking in on me. I really appreciate what he’s done for me.”

As far as a locker room presence, Trubisky could fill a huge void the Steelers have on the offensive side of the ball. The side of the ball which is now looking to replace Ben Roethlisberger as the 18-year starter at quarterback. If the Steelers are looking for accountability, Trubisky is their guy.

“He’s not one to make excuses,” Miller insisted. “He will point the thumb at himself when he knows he’s gotta get better, and his teammates respect that.

“Two things carry a lot of respect in the locker room, your toughness and your ability to admit that you’re not an excuse-maker and you’re going to go out there and get the job done,” Miller said. “None of his teammates ever spoke poorly about Mitch Trubisky wherever he’s been.”

Many fans have been wondering if a year away from starting would actually make a difference in Trubisky’s career. Could a year with the Buffalo Bills, backing up Josh Allen, actually help the maturation of a quarterback? After all, you go from starter to hardly playing in 2021, how could that help? According to Miller, it was necessary.

“He needed a breath of fresh air,” Miller said. “He was kind of being vilified as the problem for the Bears and why they weren’t winning but it was more than that.

“So for him, he got to decompress a little bit. And he got to learn a different perspective on offense. And he got to learn from a quarterback who also has gone through growing pains, and that’s Josh Allen.

“He’s had a year to just sit behind Josh Allen so he should be 100-percent healthy and I would think mentally he’s healthy, too. This guy’s a fierce competitor and I think that’s one of his greatest assets. He has all the athleticism that he needs, he can do everything that’s required, he’s won games and he’s led a team to the playoffs twice.

“He’s experienced quite a bit in is young career, a lot of it just wasn’t all good things.”

This all sounds great, and fans are always the best at weaving positive narratives around players their favorite team acquires in some way. Trubisky is no different, but until Steelers fans see him go out on Sundays and win games, and do it convincingly, there will be doubters. And rightfully so. Either way, Trubisky is going to have a lot to prove, both to himself and the fan base come fall.

It will be something to watch, that’s for sure.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the rest of free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft.