Not even two games into Mitch Trubisky's tenure as the Steelers' starting quarterback, Pittsburgh faithful began raining chants for Kenny Pickett upon Acrisure Stadium. Big-name predecessor Ben Roethlisberger doesn't think Trubisky deserves the boos, and coach Mike Tomlin is "exercising appropriate patience" with his current starter. But why, you ask? Why, after making such a premium investment in Pickett, are the Steelers still committed to the Trubisky experiment entering Week 3?
Trubisky, to be clear, hasn't been the sole sore spot on an offense that mustered just 14 points in a Week 2 loss to the Patriots and nearly got outdone by a turnover-happy Bengals team in Week 1. The Steelers' remade O-line is still a work in progress, and featured back Najee Harris has averaged all of 2.9 yards per carry through two games. But statistically and visually, the ex-Bears starter has been thoroughly "bleh." His passer rating (76.1) ranks 29th among active starters, he's completing under 60% of his throws, and he's averaging fewer yards per attempt (5.1) than literally every other first-string QB in the NFL.
That last feat is probably the greatest indication yet that, while QB is an issue, the Steelers have an equally pressing concern at offensive coordinator, where second-year man Matt Canada has dialed up one of the league's most conservative, short-area attacks. Canada and Roethlisberger, of course, also played it notoriously safe in last year's 9-7-1 finish.
As for Trubisky, whose athleticism was often overshadowed by ill-timed decisions in Chicago, it's very possible Canada's system is protecting the QB from himself. But that brings us back to square one, indicting Trubisky as a low-ceiling signal-caller. There are other issues, to be sure: why isn't Canada more frequently utilizing Trubisky's legs, one of the QB's best physical tools? Why is there not more effort to creatively get the ball in the hands of play-makers like Diontae Johnson and George Pickens? But perhaps Canada and Co. do not trust Trubisky enough to turn him loose in any fashion. In which case we are back to the real square one: why haven't the Steelers already made the switch to Pickett? Is the rookie really that unprepared?