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Mitch Trubisky not concerned with quarterback talk heading into preseason finale

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of a quarterback competition, but it isn’t going to concern veteran Mitch Trubisky.

Syndication: Florida Times-Union Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Mike Tomlin are currently navigating uncharted waters. No, not in the fact the team is preparing for a preseason finale this Sunday, but in the fact there is some uncertainty surrounding who the team’s quarterback will be in Week 1.

For the last 18 years the Steelers have had Ben Roethlisberger as their quarterback. There was no debate as to who would be the team’s quarterback when the real games started. Heading into this season it has been an open competition between Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett.

Throughout it all, Trubisky has always been the front-runner, receiving the vast majority of repetitions with the starters throughout minicamp, OTAs and training camp. As well as the preseason.

After the team’s 16-15 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last Saturday, the talk has been about an open competition for the starting quarterback role. Would it be Trubisky, or Pickett? After the game, Mike Tomlin thought Trubisky played well, especially considering he was under a massive amount of pressure throughout the first half.

“I thought Mitch [Trubisky] played well.” Tomlin said. “I thought he created and extended some things when there wasn’t much there. We’ve got to do a better job in protecting him and having some semblance of a running game if you want a fair evaluation, and I’m just being bluntly honest.”

The problem wasn’t Trubisky’s performance, but Pickett’s. The rookie has shown rapid improvement, to the point where Tomlin wouldn’t say who would start Week 1 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in just a couple weeks.

Has this talk gotten to the veteran Trubisky? It hasn’t. All he is focused on is improving as a player and an offense, and throughout the preseason that has been difficult to determine just how far the group needs to come.

“It’s tough to gauge,” said Trubisky. “It’s always different in the first quarter of a preseason game. You don’t really have a real game plan. We’ll have a little bit more of one this week. You’re not really showing everything that you have. And you’re really just trying to establish a rhythm and it takes a whole unit not just the quarterback. It takes all 11 guys to have a successful play and go down and score as a unit.

“I think more than anything we’re trying to find is rhythm. I got three drives last week, we’ll see how many I get this week. It’s all about getting better. And for me if we look at what we did last week, and what our weaknesses were, and where we can get better at, that’s where we’re trying to focus right now. It’s just making the throws that help us stay on the field, maybe get the ball out a little quicker and just continue to make good decisions.”

Has Trubisky done enough to win the quarterback job? He feels as if he has, not just in games but in practice settings as well.

“It’s been a limited sample, but I think I’ve done a lot of great things in practice, a lot of good throws in the game,” said Trubisky. “Just focus on what we can improve as a unit right now. And that’s staying on the field on third down and then going down and finishing with some points. Especially last game, would like to stay on the field a little bit longer and finish in the end zone. We’re just looking to see what we can improve and keep doing that. But, I’ve done a lot of great things so far, and I feel really comfortable with where I’m at and how I’m throwing the football and how I’m learning the playbook and going through all my reads so far.”

Trubisky is expected to get the start against the Detroit Lions in NFL Preseason Week 3 Sunday, and for him to cement himself as the starter for the regular season, a good showing will be needed. How the team will handle the quarterbacks is anyone’s guess, and likely won’t be known anytime soon. Tomlin will meet with media Friday, and will outline their plan for specific players/positions in the last preseason game of 2022.

What do you think will happen with the quarterback competition? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes as the team wraps up the preseason this weekend.