Mitch Trubisky not yet Steelers QB1 but named a captain
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has yet to name a starting quarterback for the 2022 season, but Mitch Trubisky apparently has the players’ vote of confidence.
Trubisky, 28, was named one of five team captains by a vote of the players, the team announced Monday.
He joins running back Najee Harris as the captains on offense, tackle Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt on defense, and safety Miles Killebrew on special teams.
Trubisky is in his first season in Pittsburgh, signing as a free agent in the offseason. He, Harris and Killebrew are first-time captains, while Watt was voted captain for the second time. Heyward, in his 12th season, is a captain for the eighth straight year.
Tomlin has never had a quarterback competition. When he took over from Bill Cowher as Steelers coach in 2007, he inherited Ben Roethlisberger, who retired following the 2021 season.
And Tomlin’s choice has come down to Trubisky, the No. 2 overall draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 2017, and Kenny Pickett, selected No. 20 overall by the Steelers in April’s draft.
In the preseason, Trubisky completed 24 of 34 pass attempts for 283 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Pickett, 24, was 29-of-36 passing for 261 yards, with three TDs and no picks.
Veteran backup Mason Rudolph took the rest of the snaps.
For what it’s worth, Roethlisberger has made his choice. On his new podcast, “Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger,” he gave Trubisky his endorsement.
“I think Mitch is a great leader, a great football player, he’s a great athlete, he’s a good quarterback,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s the guy, they brought him in here for a reason, and I think he’s going to mentor Kenny. And I think he’ll really help Kenny a lot. But in my opinion, it should be Mitch’s job for the time being. And if Mitch plays well, keep him in there. And even if Mitch has a bad game or something, that doesn’t mean just yank him.”
The Steelers open the season Sunday at Cincinnati against the defending AFC champion Bengals.
–Field Level Media
Harris is a first-time captain in just his second season and Trubisky is a Steelers captain for the first time after signing with the team as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Heyward, who is in his 12th season, is a defensive captain for the eighth consecutive year. Watt is a defensive captain for the second time in his career. Watt was also captain in 2020.
This is the first time Killebrew, who is in his second season with the team, was voted special teams captain.