Questions about the Steelers quarterback situation will be as common as the losses in Pittsburgh during the 2022 season, but you can expect head coach Mike Tomlin to remain consistent on this in the immediate aftermath of the defeat.
Tomlin gave a clear answer when asked if he will re-evaluate Mitchell Trubisky‘s status as team’s starting QB after Thursday night 29-17 loss to division rival Cleveland Browns. His determination was reminiscent of that during the Steelers’ QB competition last summer.
“I’m not in that mentality,” Tomlin said after the game. “I’m interested in reviewing his tape and seeing the totality of it and figuring out how we can get better together.
“So the answer to that question is definitely no.”
Refraining from any reflexive reactions was a consistent approach from Tomlin however with rookie since preseason Kenny Pickett waiting in the wings and Pittsburgh fans let Trubisky hear it in last week’s home opening defeat, the storyline seems to be about to turn a page.
Trubisky’s night wasn’t that bad on paper, especially in the first half. The Steelers went into halftime with a 14-13 lead thanks to Trubisky’s clear start as he went 9-of-13 over 109 yards and scored one of Pittsburgh’s two touchdowns on a 1-yard run.
Steelers Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada set Trubisky for success with crafty play calls that played into his QB’s strengths, but a well-adjusted Browns defense was ready in the second half, with the Steelers on four of scored the five drives and just three runs in the loss.
“I feel like I’m in a good rhythm with my routine,” said Trubisky, who finished 20 of 32 for 207 yards passing. “Felt good tonight – just need to get better in the second half.”
According to Next Gen Stats, 78.1% of Trubisky’s attempts were out of bounds and he was 9 of 12 for 129 yards on intermediate passes. Trubisky completed only 1 of 6 deep passes for the 36 yards, and the any connection was in large part due to George Pickens‘great catch.
When the Browns cleared the sidelines and forced Trubisky to throw through the middle, the Steelers attack faltered and made life easy for a Browns defense, which blew away a late lead last Sunday. By the end of the night, Pittsburgh had converted a total offense of 308 yards and only 1 of 11 third downs.
Tomlin may have a better idea after watching the tape, but the respected Steelers coach could face his first loss record in 16 seasons if he doesn’t quickly find a solution to the struggling Steelers attack.
“I thought he made some plays, but we all came up short, so we measure performance – winning is our business and we didn’t do business,” Tomlin said. “So we don’t break that apart and go looking for the feel-good.”