Steelers cite 'franchise quarterback experience' with new starter Mitch Trubisky

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky spent last season as a backup for the Buffalo Bills. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
1 of 5 | Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky spent last season as a backup for the Buffalo Bills. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Coach Mike Tomlin cited Mitch Trubisky's "franchise quarterback experience" as one of the reasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers naming him their starter for 2022.

Tomlin made the comments Tuesday after the Steelers released an official depth chart with Trubisky listed as their No. 1 quarterback. The Steelers listed Kenny Pickett, the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, as their second-string quarterback.


"Man, we're just really comfortable with what Mitch has shown us," Tomlin told reporters.

"He's a guy that came to us with franchise quarterback experience, if you will. He's comfortable in those shoes. He's been the focal point of a football team and an organization before, he's had success in doing so."

The Steelers signed Trubisky as a free agent in March. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft spent his first four seasons with the Chicago Bears. He completed just 6 of 8 passes for 75 yards and an interception in six games last season for the Buffalo Bills.


Trubisky completed 66.6% of his throws for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions en route to a Pro Bowl selection during his best season in 2018. He went 11-3 as a starter that season. Trubisky went 14-10 over his final two seasons in Chicago.

"Like I mentioned when we acquired him, he took the Bears to the playoffs two out of four years," Tomlin said. "He was a winning record as a starting quarterback. Those things were attractive to us."

Tomlin mentioned Trubisky's mobility, athleticism and taking care of the football as other reasons for the Steelers' acquisition. He also said Pickett and fellow backup Mason Rudolph were playmakers and limited turnovers during the team's quarterback competition.

"That made the decision-making a challenging one, but also a fun one as well," Tomlin said. "Mitch, as I mentioned, is really comfortable in those shoes and displayed that daily just about in any circumstance that you put him in."

The Steelers ranked 15th in passing yards and 16th in passing touchdowns last season. Ben Roethlisberger, who retired this off-season, completed 64.5% of his throws for 3,740 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 16 starts in 2021. He went 9-7 in 16 appearances in his final season.


Rudolph completed 35 of 58 passes for 277 yards, one touchdown and an interception in two appearances in 2021.

The Steelers will host the New England Patriots in their season opener at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Steelers defeat Detroit Lions

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky throws in the first quarter against the Detroit Lions during an NFL preseason game at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh on August 28, 2022. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

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