Mike Tomlin Says Steelers Hold On To Mitch Trubisky Starter After Losing Cleveland

After 30 minutes of play on Thursday night, it looked like Mitch Trubisky was on his way to silencing anyone who had insisted that Kenny Pickett succeed him as the Steelers’ starting quarterback. But after a mediocre second half for Pittsburgh’s offense, the question of who should be the starter remains.

After the 29-17 loss to the Browns, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin was asked if he would consider making significant changes over the next few days, including at the quarterback position.

“I’m not in that mindset,” Tomlin said. “I’m interested in reviewing this 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.”

Though it didn’t lead to a win, Trubisky had his best performance yet as a Steelers quarterback. He surpassed 200 yards for the first time (officially threw 207 yards on 20 of 32 passes) while scoring a touchdown on the ground to give the Steelers a 14-13 lead at halftime.

Trubisky, after being criticized for his conservative play in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, threw in significantly more shots on Thursday, including his 32-yard completion for rookie George Pickens in the first half.

Trubisky led the Steelers on a promising drive to start the second half. However, the drive stopped when Jaylen Warren’s 35-meter catch-and-run rollback was waived after an offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor was called up for being downfield illegally during the game. The Steelers kicked that drive and would continue punting on their next three drives. They were able to put together a late scoring run before finally running out of time.

“We just have to be better in the second half. I thought we were pretty good in the first half,” Trubisky said. “We’ll get there, it’s just not where it should be for a win. I thought we took some steps in the right direction in the first half. The second half just wasn’t good enough.”

“I thought he was making some plays, but we all came up short,” Tomlin said when asked to rate his quarterback’s performance. “That’s how we measure performance. Winning is our business, and we didn’t do business.”

Trubisky has essentially been the Steelers’ starting quarterback since signing with them during the first day of free agency. The five-year veteran kept his regular-season runway despite a strong training camp and preseason from Pickett, the only quarterback selected in the first two rounds of the April draft. Pickett, who was able to displace Mason Rudolph as the Steelers’ No. 2 quarterback, spent the Steelers’ first three games on the sidelines after participating in pregame warm-ups.

While it wasn’t good enough to take the win, it’s clear that Trubisky’s performance on Thursday night has earned him more time as the Steelers’ starting quarterback. And based on how the quarterback situation has been managed thus far, something major would probably need to be done before any change is made.

It is certainly safe to assume that Trubisky will make his second home start of the season next Sunday, when Pittsburgh hosts the Jets in a game that looks more like a Black and Gold win.