Mitch Trubisky, for the first time Saturday, will lead the Steelers’ top offensive unit onto the field at Acrisure Stadium.
The only problem is, it’s not really going to be the first string offense.
“We haven’t had our offense at full strength yet, with guys being out,” Trubisky said Thursday, just minutes before Mike Tomlin named him the team’s starter for Saturday’s preseason opener against Seattle.
“That’s tough. You wish you could be getting reps with those guys. But I know they’re locked in mentally and paying attention in meetings. Once they’re able to go, full-go, physically, hopefully we’re hitting on all cylinders.”
The Steelers will, in all likelihood, not have starters in Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Pat Freiermuth, Chase Claypool and Derek Watt, and will likely be without multiple key reserves, as well.
“Everybody’s just got to get back healthy,” Trubisky added. “It’s part of training camp, it’s part of football. But you’ve got to be available to help this team.”
To this point in camp, it could be fair to categorize Trubisky’s play as underwhelming. He hasn’t been bad, per se, but he has yet to show consistent top tier play.
“We’re still installing,” Trubisky explained. “We’re still trying plays out for the first or second time and repping those and seeing what we’re comfortable with. But I feel like we have a good idea of what we like and what hasn’t worked with us.
“We’ve gotten better each day. Coach (Mike Tomlin) says that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you get it off the tape. Not making mistakes more than once, improving in situational play and continuing to get better.”
It’s still unknown exactly how much Trubisky will play Saturday, but he hopes to be out there plenty.
“Yeah, I want to play,” he said. “I want to see our in-game operation and get a bunch of reps. Coach has a plan, and we just have to trust that.”
The Steelers’ quarterback situation is still up in the air, at least according to the team. But all indications are the Trubisky will be the team’s starter, unless there is an injury or his play is dramatically poor in the next three weeks.
But his first massive chance to drive a stake into the position comes Saturday, and Trubisky hopes to, despite what should be a vanilla offense, make enough plays to convince his coaches and the public that he’s the right guy for the job.
“We’re not trying to show everything, especially in the first preseason game,” he said. “It’s all about execution. It can be a basic play, but it can work really good if all 11 guys are on the same page.
“It’s been three weeks going against the same defense every single day. It’s a new twist in there when you get to go against someone else.”