Consternation abounds in Pittsburgh surrounding quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the lack of deep shots through two weeks.
Trubisky checked the ball down often in Sunday’s loss to New England Patriots and hasn’t stretched the field much through two games despite a receiver corps highlighted by Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and rookie George Pickens.
On Tuesday, the starting quarterback told reporters he could open things up more.
“It’s there, and we had our opportunities,” Trubisky said, per TribLIVE.com. “I think earlier, I can take shots downfield. I think I can look for [No.] 14 more often, George. He’s doing a great job for us, and I just gotta get these playmakers the football. Whatever route they’re running, I just gotta get them the ball. It really comes down to me making better decisions, being aggressive and putting ourselves in that position.”
Through two weeks, Trubisky ranks last in the NFL with a 5.1 yards per attempt average among passers with at least 30 attempts, per Next Gen Stats. The QB has completed just two balls of 20-plus air yards on eight such attempts (none over 25 air yards).
Trubisky has had under 200 pass yards, and a sub-80 passer rating in each of his first two starts with the Steelers.
Head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t put offensive struggles on Trubisky when asked Monday if the QB could be more aggressive.
“I think he could,” Tomlin said, via ESPN.com. “And we could.”
“We haven’t scored enough points here the last couple of weeks, but that’s a collective, not just the quarterback position, not just the players,” Tomlin added. “It’s all of us are responsible for ringing up the scoreboard. We don’t seek comfort. We don’t try to quell the noise, to be quite honest with you. We don’t care about the noise. We’re just working on the things that are within our control to have good days to continue the progression of this group from a developmental standpoint, knowing that the outcome is going to be what we desire.”
The offensive line’s struggles haven’t aided Trubisky in stretching the field, and offensive coordinator Matt Canada has preferred calling shorter routes. Those issues aren’t on Trubisky.
Still, if he wants to silence the calls for rookie Kenny Pickett to take over under center, the quarterback will need to make more plays starting with Thursday night’s matchup against the rival Browns in Cleveland.
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