Following an uninspiring effort in a loss to the Browns on Thursday Night Football, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin attempted to quell any buzz concerning a potential change at quarterback.
Pittsburgh dropped to 1–2 on the season Thursday night after falling to AFC North rival Cleveland, 29–17, on the road. The team encountered issues on both sides of the ball, but it was Mitch Trubisky who again took center stage as the leader of a stagnant offense that struggled to sustain drives and put points on the board all night.
After the game, Tomlin fielded a question regarding whether or not he’s contemplated switching from Trubisky to rookie and fan favorite Kenny Pickett. Tomlin, perhaps sensing that the discourse over the next few days would fall squarely on Trubisky, quickly looked to silence the noise by providing a definitive answer on the situation under center.
“I’m not in that mindset,” Tomlin said. “I’m interested in reviewing this tape and looking at the totality of it, and figuring out how we collectively get better. So, the answer to that question is definitively no.”
Tomlin’s firm response suggests he’s no longer interested in entertaining a conversation that has persisted since training camp and through the preseason. Despite drafting Pickett with the 20th pick of the draft back in April, the club opted to hold a QB battle which saw free-agent acquisition Trubisky emerge as the team’s starter.
Much like the first two weeks, the former second pick had a few moments but the Steelers were unable to truly capitalize on TNF. After scoring touchdowns on two of its five first-half drives—another one of which ended in a 49-yard missed field goal—Pittsburgh mustered up just one FG to go with four punts over its last five series to end the game. Three of those second-half drives generated less than eight yards while the last ended in a botched lateral play that resulted in a Browns defensive TD as the game clock expired.
On the night, Trubisky finished 20-of-32 for 207 yards while taking one sack. He also logged two rushes for seven yards.
“I thought he made some plays but we all collectively came up short,” Tomlin said. “That’s how we measure performance, man, winning is our business and we didn’t handle business. So, we don’t break that apart and look for the feel good.”
While it remains to be seen how long things remain status quo, Tomlin, who has never had a losing season in 15 years at the helm, seems steadfast in sticking with Trubisky over Pickett for the time being. The Steelers will now have a mini-bye to rest up before taking on the Jets at home on Oct. 2.
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