Ron Cook: Mitch Trubisky is still an important piece of Steelers' 2023 puzzle

Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Football

The paragraphs jumped off of page 253 of "Swagger," the terrific new book that examines the football life of Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson in Johnson's words.

"You need a star quarterback to win in today's game. The second most important player on a roster? In another era, I'd say a dominant pass rusher or maybe a star receiver. It's the backup quarterback in today's game.

"If you don't have a franchise quarterback and one to hold down the fort if your starter goes down for a stretch, your chances of winning a title are pretty slim."

I immediately thought about Mitch Trubisky.

Will he be back next season as Kenny Pickett's backup?

Will he be good enough if he is?


Trubisky's future with the Steelers has become a controversial topic. Maybe it isn't as hot as Matt Canada's return as offensive coordinator, but it is heated nonetheless.

Trubisky's salary cap hit for next season is $10.625 million. The Steelers could save $8 million against the cap if they release him. His many critics argue that is too much for a backup.

It's also safe to say Trubisky isn't thrilled about returning. He was signed to be the starting quarterback before the Steelers made Pickett their No. 1 draft pick in April. Trubisky lost the starting job to Pickett in the fourth game against the New York Jets.

If Trubisky feels as if he was misled or deceived by Tomlin, he wouldn't be the first player to feel that way. I give you LeGarrette Blount, Martavis Bryant, James Harrison and Melvin Ingram as proof. All four successfully moaned their way out of town, basically quitting on the Steelers.


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