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The Pittsburgh Steelers are now 1-2 on the season following Thursday night’s 29-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns, but head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to give up on Mitchell Trubisky just yet.
When asked after the game whether or not he would consider making a change at quarterback before the team’s Week 4 matchup against the New York Jets, Tomlin responded, “Definitively, no.”
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“The answer to that question is definitively no.”
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin on making any changes after loss to Browns. pic.twitter.com/5td6XIPpwY
For the third straight week, Trubisky was underwhelming. He completed 20 of 32 passes for 211 yards in Pittsburgh’s loss in addition to rushing for seven yards and one score.
The 28-year-old averaged just 6.5 yards per attempt against the Browns. That’s up from the 5.1 yards per attempt he averaged through the first two weeks of the season, but it’s still not ideal.
Wide receiver Diontae Johnson led the team with eight catches for 84 yards on 11 targets. Tight end Pat Friermuth posted two catches for 41 yards, and rookie wide receiver George Pickens caught three passes for 39 yards.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported before Thursday’s game that the Steelers had not had any discussions about replacing Trubisky with rookie Kenny Pickett at quarterback. He added that the Black and Gold entered the season hoping that Trubisky would be their starter for the entire year.
Tomlin also said earlier in the week that he was going to remain patient with Trubisky:
“I’m going to exercise appropriate patience and continue to teach and ask the guys to continue to learn in an effort to continue to push this train down the track and get better. I think that if anyone is sitting here on Monday in Week 2 of this thing feeling happy, they’re probably wrong or misinformed.”
Tomlin’s patience will only last so long, and if Trubisky doesn’t show improvement, it will be hard for the Steelers to not turn to Pickett, the team’s 2022 first-round pick, who had a solid preseason this summer.
In three games, Pickett completed 29 of 36 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 7.3 passing yards per attempt, which is better than what Trubisky has shown early this season.
Pickett is undoubtedly the future at quarterback for the Steelers. Whether he takes over in 2022 or 2023 will likely be determined by how well, or not so well, Trubisky plays over the next several weeks.