One of the traits that drew the Pittsburgh Steelers to veteran quarterback Mitch Trubisky in free agency was his overall athleticism and mobility inside and outside of the pocket. During his time with the Chicago Bears, Trubisky brought an added element to the offense.
Through two games with the Pittsburgh Steelers as the starting quarterback, that mobility hasn’t quite played a factor that the Steelers — or Trubisky — were hoping it would.
Sure, he’s moved the chains a few times with his legs and has allowed second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada to call some of the designed rollouts to generate easy completions, but too often early in the year the veteran quarterback hasn’t trusted himself to utilize his legs and search for the splash plays on breakdowns.
After looking at the film coming out of the 17-14 loss to the Patriots, Trubisky knows he could continue to use his legs more and be aggressive offensively for the Steelers, using the one trait the franchise was enamored with when they signed him.
“Yeah, I’ve looked at that as well. Just continuous conversations, how I can use my legs, and then also toeing that fine line of when to move in the pocket and when not to using my legs,” Trubisky said to reporters Tuesday from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, according to video via Steelers.com. “So there’s a couple times where I thought I had to move it. And really if I just trusted my time within the play, I could’ve got the ball out sooner and just completed the ball.
“But also there’s a couple times where my legs did help us, either get outta the situation or just create a positive play for the offense,” Trubisky added. “So, continue to use my legs, just be aggressive and just be smart. Those are the decisions you just gotta make on every play.”
While it’s not fair to say there were a ton of opportunities for Trubisky to use his legs, it is a bit startling to see him not pull the ball down in certain situations and use his legs to make a play. That was one of his strengths coming out of North Carolina and then with the Bears early in his career, so it’s a bit puzzling to not see him leaning on his legs at times to try and create that spark for the Steelers.
It would also help if Canada took the reins off of him a bit and called some designed run for Trubisky in an effort to get him more comfortable using his legs. After talking all off-season about how excited they were to have a guy who could move in and out of the pocket, Canada and head coach Mike Tomlin have not utilized that trait just yet.
On a short week traveling to Cleveland for an AFC North matchup, we’ll see if Trubisky leans on his legs a bit more to provide a spark.