Ben Roethlisberger started his starter run in Week three of the 2004 season. A Tommy Maddox harm led to that seminal swap. Eighteen years later, the Steelers’ new first-round quarterback prospect appears to be like like he might want to wait longer.
Though some pro-Kenny Pickett chants broke out throughout Sunday’s Patriots-Steelers sport, the No. 20 total decide is not going to exchange Mitch Trubisky. Whereas acknowledging Trubisky could be extra aggressive with downfield throws, Tomlin mentioned he’s exercising persistence along with his quarterback and offensive coordinator, by way of ESPN.com’s Brooke Pryor.
“I’m not proud of a lot of something once we simply misplaced a sport, however I’m additionally skilled sufficient to see the massive image, that we’re nonetheless very a lot in improvement,” Tomlin mentioned, by way of The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly, when requested about OC Matt Canada‘s play-calling. “I’m going to train applicable persistence and proceed to show and ask the blokes to proceed to be taught in an effort to proceed to push this practice down the observe and get higher.”
This doesn’t symbolize a logical week to make a swap. Following Thursday’s Browns matchup, nevertheless, a transition window opens. Trubisky’s play will dictate how for much longer he has as Pittsburgh’s starter, however Pickett’s improvement could also be a much bigger issue at this level.
Pittsburgh’s offense struggled throughout Roethlisberger’s ultimate season, rating 25th in DVOA. It has supplied two low-wattage performances this yr. Trubisky, who has tried 15 throws at or behind the road of scrimmage this season, enters Week three averaging 5.1 yards per try. Excluding Dak Prescott‘s one-game pattern, that mark ranks because the league’s worst. Neither Chase Claypool nor second-round decide George Pickens have surpassed 30 receiving yards in a sport this season.
Trubisky isn’t anticipated to maintain his job all through this season, however his two sub-200-yard performances amplify Pickett’s improvement. The Steelers have a Week 9 bye. Though Trey Lance, Jordan Love and Patrick Mahomes are exceptions, with their groups planning longer NFL onramps, each first-round quarterback chosen from 2017-21 had been elevated into the beginning lineup by Week 10. (That record expands to 2012 if Paxton Lynch and Johnny Manziel are excluded.) With it being extra norm than exception for QBs to start their starter runs by October of their rookie yr — Trubisky took over in Chicago in October 2017 — how lengthy Pickett waits appears to be like like it will likely be moderately vital to the Steelers’ competition prospects.
The Steelers promoted Canada from quarterbacks coach to OC final yr. He changed Randy Fichtner. Pittsburgh ranks 30th in complete offense, and Najee Harris is averaging 2.9 yards per carry. Even Trubisky known as on Canada to be extra aggressive, however the second-year OC has not but labored with an above-average quarterback or a lot offensive line expertise. The offense’s efficiency Thursday in Cleveland actually can be a hot-button matter.
“Name ideas to get receivers there,” Trubisky mentioned, by way of Pryor, with reference to downfield passing. “When the protection dictates that, get them the ball inside that. … We like our outdoors matchups. We’ve received actually good receivers. We’ve received actually good expertise throughout the board. We’d prefer to assault all areas of the sphere and get the ball to our playmakers. So, we might perform a little bit higher at every part, for positive.”