Is Mitch Trubisky primed for a breakout?
Ok, pick up spilled cereal. Wipe clean the spit took coffee. But hear me out. Mitch Trubisky may have struggled in the NFL since being drafted second overall by the Bears. But there was a reason he was so highly coveted, if over-drafted.
I’m not arguing that Trubisky is set to be a Pro Bowler for the AFC this season. Although it seems anyone can earn Pro Bowl honours these days. Especially by the time the Super Bowl players and others drop out. However, several factors suggest The NC State alum could be the perfect holdover in Pittsburgh following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger.
Why Mitch can succeed with the Steelers
Far be it from me to talk up the Steelers. However, Pittsburgh have a strong roster with the pieces that allow a naturally talented QB to achieve his potential. Trubisky was a high ceiling QB with exciting traits but limited experience coming out of college. Much like sophomore Trey Lance. In defence of Trubisky, it’s not like Justin Fields faired much better as the Bears signal caller. Albeit Fields was a rookie but he was arguably a better prospect than Trubisky.
The Steelers have all the skill position talent in the world. Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool make an exciting combination. Plus there is the electric rookie George Pickens to add to the mix. Pittsburgh sure knows how to scout talent at receiver. And while Pickens may have noted character issues, they have dealt with that before, whilst getting the best out of Antonio Brown.
Elsewhere, Pat Freiermuth was a solid rookie at Tight End, the best in his class, offering Trubisky a safety blanket. Beyond that though is the running game. Najee Harris was a major threat in year one and will expect to build into year two. He will very much be the bell cow with Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland providing relief when needed but lacking superstar ability. Harris however is a three down back, most notably offering an additional threat as an additional receiver.
Add to that one of the league’s best defences, led by TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick. The offence doesn’t need to be explosive. Purely methodical and the defence should allow them to stay in games at the bare minimum.
Threats to success for Trubisky in Pittsburgh
There are a few potential threats to the great Trubisky breakout – beyond his noted flaws as a QB. The Steelers preach continuity and blooding rookies gradually. However they are likely to want to know what they have in rookie Kenny Pickett. Whether he is limited or not, a combination of coaches and front office will be keen for the Pitt alum to get some game time this year.
By far the biggest threat though impacts all of the Steelers’ options. Their offensive line is expected to struggle, lacking both star names, veterans or genuine talent. The quintet (or more) could gel together to be more than the sum of their parts. But it’s expected that the Steelers will need to rely on a quick passing game or leaving additional receivers in to block.
Mitch Trubisky has flashed in his first five years in the league with a poor Bears roster. Now with the keys to a playoff team, it is time for him to thrive and unleash the player that wowed scouts when he was drafted. This may not be the second coming of Patrick Mahomes, but Trubisky could well be an upgrade on the Steelers’ QB play in recent years and the perfect player to keep Pittsburgh in the mix in a crowded AFC field.
Featured Image: Mitch Trubisky from behindthesteelcurtain
Adam Barton is a regular contributor for Ninety-Nine Yards and you can find more of his work here.