PITTSBURGH — Mike Tomlin isn’t quite ready to publicly name Mitch Trubisky as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback.
Neither did Trubisky.
“The ad will come out when it’s due out,” Trubisky said Monday. ‘You’re not going to hear it from me.’
No need, not after Trubisky’s teammates actually proclaimed him Monday when they picked him as one of five co-captains.
“I just think he’s a guy that people rally around,” said defensive tackle Cam Heyward of Trubisky, who arrived in free agency in March. “It’s all about the team. He is very involved. He understands and Coach T says so, he carries our hopes and dreams every game.’
Trubisky has said all the right things and seemingly done all the right things since signing a two-year contract for the chance to replace retired Ben Roethlisberger. He reached out to returning players on offense individually and welcomed skill position players to his home in South Florida in the spring in hopes of building chemistry.
Trubisky started the spring atop the depth chart and despite a push from Mason Rudolph and rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett — both of whom performed well throughout the offseason schedule and training camp — Trubisky never provided much reason for Tomlin to change things.
Although Tomlin hasn’t made it official yet — it’s expected to happen on Tuesday as the Steelers begin preparations for next Sunday’s season opener in Cincinnati — Trubisky has acted as the starter from the time he put pen on paper in mid-March.
The way Trubisky understands it, being a leader sort of comes with the territory when you’re playing one of the most important positions in sports.
“You just want to be that guy day in and day out that guys can like, ‘Hey, if I do it like this guy does, we’re going to be heading in the right direction,'” Trubisky said. .
Heyward, reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt, special teams ace Miles Killebrew and sophomore running back Najee Harris were also voted captains.
The 24-year-old Harris set a franchise rookie record by rushing for 1,200 yards in 2021. He quickly earned the respect of his teammates thanks to his work ethic and discipline.
“You know, he’s a guy who leads by example, he doesn’t say much,” Heyward said of Harris. “But I just think he was destined to be captain. He was a guy who, when you looked at our roster, you know, he’s the bell cow. And so we had bell cows that didn’t haven’t been captains, but that’s what he does off the pitch.
Trubisky found him recounting that Harris flew to Pittsburgh the day Trubisky officially signed. Harris gave Trubisky an overview of the team’s offense and goals for 2022 and beyond.
“He was there for me from day one,” Trubisky said. “And to me, it’s the little things that people don’t see that leaders do on a day-to-day basis, having those relationships that go deeper and beyond (the surface) with your teammates. And that’s why he is who he is.
NOTES: The Steelers signed S Andrew Adams, CB Josh Jackson and LB Delontae Scott to the practice squad on Monday. … Pro Bowl WR Diontae Johnson warmed up with his teammates Monday, but didn’t play most practice games. Johnson injured his left shoulder in the preseason finale against Detroit on August 28, although Tomlin said at the time there was a chance Johnson could have returned to the game if he did. was the regular season.
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