Mike Tomlin shoots down possibility of a quarterback change

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
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The Pittsburgh offense isn’t producing enough points. But that isn’t enough to produce a quarterback change. Yet.

After Thursday night’s 29-17 loss to the Browns, coach Mike Tomlin was unequivocal in his ongoing support of current starter Mitch Trubisky. When asked about the possibility of shifting from Trubisky to rookie first-rounder Kenny Pickett, Tomlin said, “The answer to that question is definitively no.”

It’s the best chance to give Pickett extra time to prepare for the job until the full-blown Week Nine bye. By then, it may be too late. After the Week Four game at home against the Jets, the Steelers face a mini-murderer’s row of superior foes: at Bills, Bucs, at Dolphins, at Eagles.

The Steelers, currently 1-2, could end up being 2-6 through eight weeks. That could make it very difficult to win enough of the final nine games to capture the division or to slip into one of the three wild-card slots in the AFC.

It also would increase the pressure on Tomlin to avoid his first ever losing season. He’d need to go 7-2 down the stretch.

In the interim, he’ll have to manage internal and external pressure to play Trubisky. The fans want the Pitt product. In the building, Trubisky had been losing support even before the Week Three loss.

And while Trubisky did a better job of getting the ball down the field in the passing game, the results weren’t there. Trubisky completed 20 of 32 passes for 207 yards. Not bad, but not good enough to get the win.

Pickett is clearly the future. Many think the future is now. The man in charge of the team thinks otherwise, and that’s really all that matters.

78 responses to “Mike Tomlin shoots down possibility of a quarterback change

  1. I think they would have to go to 1-4 before making a change at QB. By then, Pickett will be ready. But the injury to T.J. Watt is the biggest problem right now. He’s about as big a difference maker as there is in the NFL. They probably would have won tonight if Watt was healthy.

  2. Tomlin should have been let go three years ago, but the Steelers wanna maintain their facade, and the fans are unfortunately going to be stuck with this underachiever for a few more years

  3. And I hope he continues to not want to put Pickett in, I truly believe that throwing rookie QBs to the wolves is the main reason that nearly 70% of all 1st round QBs since 2000 turn out to be busts! There’s no reason with the rookie salary cap to throw these rookie QBs in there the 1st year, maybe in a game that’s a blow out just to let them get some playing time and used to the faster pace of the game and the difference between the NFL and college, but there aren’t many rookies that give their team a better chance of winning than the veteran does and for the last 20yrs you can count them on both hands and have fingers left over.

  4. If Tomlin is looking for a top 5 draft pick, I completely support his decision to keep MT in the starting lineup. I’m just glad my Pats didn’t have to defend against KP lol

  5. lionsnati0n says:
    September 22, 2022 at 11:55 pm
    You lost to the Browns with Brisset at QB. It’s Pickett time.

    I’ll take Brisset over Goff everyday and twice on Sunday’s!

  6. He’s between a rock and a hard spot. The last two years Tomlin had the team in spite of, not because of, Big Ben. He knows good and well the way things are that throwing a rookie QB against the likes of the next four teams is foolish at best. But from the crop of free agent QBs from this past offseason, it wasn’t like a solid choice was there the way things have been playing out.

  7. And if he had one losing season it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I’m sure most HoF coaches have at least one stinker on their resume.

  8. Mitch Trubisky: Bleh…meh.
    Didn’t play terrible, but also didn’t play good enough to win.
    Enjoy your limited time as a starter in the Burgh, Mitch.
    You’ll be welcomed back in Buffalo next season as a backup.

  9. I understand you want to protect and give the rookie time to learn, but at what cost? If you’re going to wait until the bye, what’s the point then, just keep Pickett out the whole year and take whatever licks you’re going to take. If you wait until the bye, your season will be pretty much over.

  10. The Steelers started the second half with the ball, leading 14-13, and from there, did produce 4 straight three and out. Then, with 3 min left in the game, trailing by 2 scores, Trubisky suddenly loosened up, and came up with a FG, with 1:50 left, still trailing by a TD. But he gave hope, that FG drive was a beauty, even if at that point, it was almost a lost cause, let’s forget about his ineptitude, don’t put in Pickett.

  11. Let Trubiskey take the beating until tho-line can be rebuilt in the off-season. No reason to ruin Pickett’s career for a losing season.

  12. Because Tomlin knows it’s not the QB’s fault. I think he knows that his OC is not up to the job, but doesn’t feel that firing his OC would change anything for this season. The playbook is the playbook and dumping Canada doesn’t fix anything mid-season. Steelers are trying to make the best if it, but figure the OC will be something addresses after this season. Steelers are 6-11 at best when the final game is played.

  13. Trubisky runs out of a safe pocket into trouble, then throws while jumping sideways. I see no concerns there whatsoever.

    Its as if the coaches pulled him aside and whispered, “That O Line can’t help you. As soon as you snap that ball, man, RUN!!”

  14. Steelers played dirty and got away with it as usual, still couldn’t stop the inevitable! The refs couldn’t save them this time. Go Browns!

  15. You don’t root for injuries because that’s despicable. But the best-case scenario is Trubisky rolling an ankle…Pickett comes in and lights it up…Pickett is the guy and you never have to talk about it again.

    Look at Shannahan in SF. They had to get Lance on the field to see what they had. But Lance wasn’t lighting it up from the get-go (few do). Had Lance dropped a few games, Shannahan would have had to bench him for JG and deal with all the drama that came with that. Lance getting injured allows them to go back to JG, possibly saving their season, and freeing Shannahan from having to talk about the issue all the time.

  16. 2-6? Worse, they could be 1-7. Can’t assume beating the Jets after losing to the team the Jets just beat.

  17. What a sad display of ego and pride. Pickett is going to light it up but sadly they will be out of playoff contention by the time he gets his chance.

  18. Browns fan here…I rooted for Trubisky (when he wasn’t at pitts). Saw him play high school two games…he’s talented and a good Cleveland boy. He’s going to be a solid backup in the NFL for the next ten years.
    Unfortunately, I believe, and told family and friends before the draft, pitts will draft Pickett and he’ll be a Hall of Famer. Pickett is going to be a stud for years to come. But, him starting for this team, makes no difference. Weakest roster pitts has had since Kordell at QB. Cowher had to suffer through Stewart’s crap. Now Tomlin may actually have to coach. He can’t just ride the coattails of the ridiculous amount of talent this team has drafted for the past 50 frickn’ years!
    Go Browns!!!

  19. I wouldn’t say Trubisky was the problem I mean watching the game he threw more than a couple of passes that were right on target in the receivers just dropped them or let them go right through their hands

  20. Yep put pickett in and when he loses games because of INTs and takes a bunch of sacks from holding the ball too long and getting fooled by NFL defenses then the so called fans will boo him and call for mitch back. No one has any clue what patience is.

  21. That loss was not Trubiskys fault. When your team can’t stop the other teams offense, it’s not the fault of the QB.

  22. No Tomlin is not an idiot. For once he’s correct – Pickett’s confidence would get slaughtered if he faced TB, Buffalo, Miami & Philly. Only a blinders-on Putt Panther homer would suggest Pickett.

  23. More than changing the quarterback or offensive coordinator the Steelers need to change the head coach. No more winning until Tomlin is long gone.

  24. Ownership drafted Pickett, not the GM or HC. He was a third round talent then and nowhere near starting caliber now.

  25. I think Tomlin knows that between his O-line and OC problems – that putting Pickett out there would be likely just give the same result – and be bad for Pickett.

    Trubisky is not a solution, but the problem at his position is bigger than him.

  26. He’s right in this case. You don’t throw the rookie out to the wolves. Just a few months ago everyone said it was a weak draft class and no day 1 picks. That means no season 1 starters, rather guys to learn the game and develop. A couple bad days against those teams, fans and media will label him a bust.

  27. Tomlin finding out that the “business of winning” is a lot harder without a hall of fame qb. Browns should be 3-0. Steelers should be 0-3. Steelers are a BAD football team.

  28. As long as Matt Canada remains the OC, Tom Brady in his prime could do nothing for this offense. Save Kenny for when a competent OC is brought in next year.

  29. Is switching to Pickett going to magically fix the o-line? From what I saw Trubisky was running for his life the whole game.

  30. He is being smart. The Steelers aren’t going to win those games regardless of who is at QB. He is letting his future guy continue developing behind the guy he throws out there to take the beatings. Meanwhile the oline and defense are where the immediate focus needs to be. The irony is that during this tough stretch we are seeing Tomlin make good devisions that show him to be a better coach than many (self included) have given him credit for.

  31. 154–85–2

    Tomlin can do what he wants. If he thinks the future will be better giving Pickett the Mahomes-style redshirt year what makes you sure he’s wrong?

    He is one of the only NFL coaches who knows he will be there to see the future. That’s how the Steelers operate. Hard to say they are wrong, when you look around the league.

  32. Trubisky is not an NFL starter. He’s barely an NFL backup. Brisset was throwing from clean pockets and better down and distance, true, but he still looked better than Trubisky. Somehow the Steelers offense now looks worse than the Bears offense did with Trubs. Scoring more than in the teens with Trubs is not realistic, and without Watt, there is no way this defense is holding anyone in the teens.

  33. Maybe he doesn’t want to throw him into the “mini-murderer’s row” with only the Jet game under his belt?

  34. Maybe he should be asked about a coaching change… He hasn’t won a significant game in over a decade and his teams make the same mistake year after year. I know, I know Mediocre Mike has never had a losing season but how much of that was due to a Franchise HOF QB covering his shortcomings?

  35. C’mon. How many drops were there last night that killed drives? 4? 5? That loss was on the run defense not Mitch.

    No Mitch is not your long-term answer but he is also not the current problem. Let Pickett learn for a year. You’ll be better off in the long run.

  36. HOF coach with 15 straight winning season who sees the rookie daily – “The answer to that question is definitively no.”

    Fans who saw a few preseason games and will never understand how one of the most respected organizations in football is run – “Then he’s an idiot”

    Must be week three in the NFL-Go Steelers!

  37. I’ve said for YEARS, that Tomlin is the single most overrated coach in the NFL! He inherited a VERY talented & well coached team from Bill Cowher, and won a super bowl with COWHER’S TEAM! Not to mention having a HOF defensive coordinator in Dick LeBeau, and a draft guru in Kevin Colbert. Well they’re gone now too. I’ve also said that Ben Roethlisberger carried the team and that once he left, Tomlin would be exposed! Well it’s HIS team now, so no excuses! As long as Tomlin is there, they will NEVER see another SB, even with Pickett. But he’ll never be fired, because he’s the poster child for the Rooney rule, and the Rooneys only care if the seats are filled…they stopped caring about Super Bowls years ago. What has Tomlin done in the last 10 years? Absolutely nothing! Not having a “losing season” during the regular season means squat…it’s all about Lombardi trophies. THAT, is what “the standard” USED to be. Sadly, it no longer is.

  38. “But the injury to T.J. Watt is the biggest problem right now.No it isnt,sure he is a great player but he is only one player and not even the starting QB who is much more important.Watt does not put points on the board to win games they need to win.

  39. billh1947 says:
    September 23, 2022 at 9:01 am
    “But the injury to T.J. Watt is the biggest problem right now.No it isnt,sure he is a great player but he is only one player and not even the starting QB who is much more important.Watt does not put points on the board to win games they need to win.

    01Rate This
    Then you didn’t watch the game. Steelers generated absolutely zero pass rush without Watt. Brissett could not have been more comfortable. Playing against a better QB and better offense they give up 30 plus points.

  40. Tomlin knows this season is already lost. He wants Trubisky to be the punching bag for the rest of the season and not get his future QB hurt.

  41. Never forget. Tomlin’s line Super Bowl win has an asterisk. It’s the season Tom Brady missed due to injury.

  42. Should have grabbed Jimmy G. He would have been a fantastic bridge qb. Teams got scared of the shoulder surgery, but it was a minor surgery and they could have gotten him cheap. If you play D and run the ball Jimmy G will get you to the playoffs and then anything is possible.

  43. “The single trait that separates great quarterbacks from good quarterbacks is the ability to make the great, spontaneous decision, especially at a crucial time. The clock is running down and your team is five points behind. The play that was called has broken down and 22 players are moving in almost unpredictable directions all over the field. This is where the great quarterback uses his experience, vision, mobility and what we will call spontaneous genius. He makes something good happen.”
    Bill Walsh

    When it’s third and long and Trubisky has to make a play, Trubisky shows why he is not a starting caliber QB, let alone a great QB. Trubisky makes nothing happen, other than running toward the sideline and throwing seven or so yards to the lone WR in that area.

  44. charliecharger says:
    September 23, 2022 at 12:00 am
    I think they would have to go to 1-4 before making a change at QB. By then, Pickett will be ready. But the injury to T.J. Watt is the biggest problem right now. He’s about as big a difference maker as there is in the NFL. They probably would have won tonight if Watt was healthy.


    The loss of a single extraordinarily gifted pass rusher does not make a team misfire in as many places as the Steelers are right now.

    I think Tomlin is actually doing a good job coaching as he works the current situation, tough as it may be. In a way to position the Steelers to become a winner in the future. This is harder for a coach to do than when they are winning with a good pool of talent they built up.

  45. What has Tomlin done in the last 10 years? Absolutely nothing!
    I agree with this poster. The whole thing.

  46. the loss is not on mitch’s shoulders, the o line is poor, no pass rush w/o tj and a lot of drops along with boring play calling. but that falls on the hc and tomlin should have been gone a few years ago when he lost the locker room, but as someone said it is the facade the rooney’s like to keep up that is keeping him around. tomlin has always been a mediocre hc, he just used to have amazing talent around him which made up for his lack of. the steelers should play hard but hope to loose for a few good draft picks and rebuild, but start at the top with the hc. only issue in pittsburgh is if anyone even jokes about loosing to get better draft picks they better be careful cause brian flores in the building and he will rat on them.

  47. Have to agree with johnnyhotwingsauces who pretty much nailed it. We as Steeler fans are stuck with a mediocre coach and top management will not change that. Tomlin comes off as a bright guy who can wax poetic about anything, but as a Head Coach he is average and not Championship caliber. He has let the Offensive Line become the laughing stock of the NFL. How does that happen to an organization that always prided itself on controlling the line of scrimmage. It will be a truly long season for us and for some years to come until we make that coaching change!!!

  48. It was Kevin Colbert who stuck them with this ineffective offensive line. Any QB will be running for his life as soon as the ball is snapped. It does no good to stick a rookie in too early in the season where he will get crushed and lose confidence. The best teams let their rookie QBs spend their first season learning and preparing.

  49. You people that think a QB is ready to start in the NFL week 1 or anytime in his first season might want to look at the bust rate for QBs drafted in the 1st round, it stands at just under 70% and throwing them to the wolves in their 1st season is the main reason why, very, very few are ready their first season!

  50. The Steelers have a very tough schedule coming up. It’s not time for Pickett, yet. Besides, I bet Trubiskey has some good games. My opinion is that he plays best when there are no expectations on him. It seems like Pickett as QB1 is a fait accompli now, so perhaps the pressure to perform has vaporized. Trubiskey always shows something after he gets written off.

  51. You always can count on the mentally ill posters to post on Tomlin. he has the exact same record as Cohwer at the same point of his career, but I’ll bet the same people loved him blowing all of those championship games. the one dude was like Roethlisberger was propping him up when Been was washed the last four years of his career at least and was never a leader, something numerous sources have told you on and off the record. But yep, it’s easy to be a .700 coach in the league by just standing there and being mediocre, lol. It’s reminiscent of the idiots who think Sean Payton is overrated because he only one one Super Bowl with a physically limited QB who continually got exposed when he played playoff defenses. Do you people really look at your roster and think Tomlin is holding you back? Do you look at that offensive line and think it’s just because he’s not motivating them enough? Mind blown.

  52. Trubisky doesn’t run routes or catch balls he throws. He also doesn’t play defense or special teams.
    I don’t think the pinnacle of issues for the Steelers is Trubisky.
    Take a closer look at the coaching and game planning.

  53. It’s funny how many of the same people who think teams should tank to get a higher QB draft pick (see, 2019 season) lose their nut if a team decides to take their lumps for part of a season to make sure the future long-term QB is ready to play.

  54. ed699 says:
    September 23, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Never forget. Tomlin’s line Super Bowl win has an asterisk. It’s the season Tom Brady missed due to injury.

    That wasn’t his only appearance. You are forgetting 2010 when Brady got whooped at home, after a bye, by the 6th seed Jets. Yeah, the Steelers lost the Super Bowl, but Brady playing weeks earlier had nothing to do with that.

  55. merchantspider1 ,

    He’s not championship caliber but literally has a championship and has been to several championship games. Make the idiocy make sense.

  56. patrickvwashington says:
    September 23, 2022 at 5:39 am
    Yep put pickett in and when he loses games because of INTs and takes a bunch of sacks from holding the ball too long and getting fooled by NFL defenses then the so called fans will boo him and call for mitch back. No one has any clue what patience is.

    298Rate This
    If he is that bad better to find out sooner than later. Justin Herbert went in cold as a rookie and lit it up. Josh Allen struggled early but showed a lot of flashes. There’s no reason to sit a rookie unless the starter is playing well, a la Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers, or Alex Smith/Mahomes. Mitchell is not playing well. At best he is just below mediocre.

  57. There is several problems with the offense – the OC sucks. He does the same damn play calling as last year and blamed Ben. He is joke. Fire him and let someone else run the offense. Second, Mitch can’t see down the field, he stares down his intended receiver and can’t see that they are other recievers that are OPEN – OMG – how many times did he throw into coverage. And third, I don’t care what people say about Tomlin, I dislike him. He has zero emotions and never has his players ready to play. He wants to be a players coach, go be a defense coordinator. Steelers need a coach to instill discipline on the ENTIRE TEAM. Half the damn team stops playing before the play is even over, that is on the coach. Well, when you talk about starting a rookie QB, we did that with Ben and see how that worked out. Mitch played ok but he just doesn’t see the field. I understand Steelers are rebuilding whether they want to acknowledge it or not, but I don’t expect to lose to subpar teams. Unless Steelers make some changes on the offense, this season is going to end in a losing season.

  58. johnnyshotwingsauces says:
    September 23, 2022 at 8:52 am

    I’ve said for YEARS, that Tomlin is the single most overrated coach in the NFL! He inherited a VERY talented & well coached team from Bill Cowher, and won a super bowl with COWHER’S TEAM!


    And yet, Cowher was only able to go 8-8 with HIS TEAM the year after the Super Bowl while Tomlin took them to 10-6 the year after that, and 12-4 on the way to the Super Bowl. If the team after SB XL was such a lock that they could win the SB on their own, how come they couldn’t even make the playoffs with Cowher?

  59. Wow. As a Browns fan, I get a huge kick out of spoiled or bandwagon Steelers fans losing their minds on the possibility of having ONE losing season, 3 games in. Tomlin coached a team that had no business going to the playoffs last year with some twigs and duct tape and you guys are calling for his head. Fingers crossed Pittsburgh fires him.

  60. NFL fans and media are ridiculous. Trubisky has played 3 games with the Steelers, so he needs to be benched? As if he’s the entirety of the team. It’s nonsense. And rushing Pickett onto the field would be foolish. Letting Pickett get hammered out there wouldn’t help the kid at all. How about exercising some patience?

    Watt is out, the OL isn’t good, receivers have dropped too many passes and the D couldn’t stop the Browns when it counted. But yeah, it’s all on the QG.

    This reminds me of people saying that Mayfield “couldn’t stop” KC in the playoffs in 2020. Some people have this absurd view of blaming the QB for everything.

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