It has become a popular subject this week with the Steelers. Enough that Mike Tomlin preached about it. So much so that Mitch Trubisky is prepared to handle it.
That outside chatter that can envelope a team like a steam cloud when things aren't going right. Or, as Trubisky said, "Everybody else talking about our offense."
Or, in a lot of instances, him.
Tomlin said his players have to block it out, almost as though he is expecting more of it, despite seeing improvement in his offense. But Trubisky said it goes with the territory when a team has lost two in a row and you're the quarterback of an offense that has scored four touchdowns in three games.
And the quarterback ahead of the No. 1 draft pick who also happens to be a hometown hero.
"It's just part of the business," Trubisky said Wednesday. "People talk when you're not having the success they think you should have or we think we should have."
Trubisky is hoping to quiet the noise when the Steelers (1-2) play the New York Jets (1-2) on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium, and he remains confident that will happen.
Tomlin gave him a vote of confidence on Tuesday when he said he is committed to the path of the offense and has no plans to change what the Steelers are doing. Trubisky believes the offense is close to affirming that belief.
"On the film, you've seen the improvements. We just haven't been making those big plays or scoring as many points as I think we should have," Trubisky said. "The plays are there. They're on film. We just got to go make them.
"We're in the right place at the right time. We just got to come down and make the plays. It seems like the communication is there. We just got to go out and make it happen."
The offense is coming off its best showing of the young season in Cleveland, particularly for 2 1/2 quarters. But they managed one field goal after halftime and converted just 1 of 9 third-down opportunities.
The Steelers managed to put together back-to-back 75-yard touchdown drives for the first time this season against the Browns, consuming 17 plays in the process. But that type of ball possession has been mostly missing through three games. The Steelers are last in the league in average time of possession (24:15) and have run 57 fewer offensive plays than the opponent.
"We're closer. We're not where we want to be," Trubisky said. "I don't think it's a specific issue. I think we're still a young group. We're still molding and coming together. It's going to happen for us. I have confidence in that.
"You've got to keep the blinders on, continue to stay focused on the task at hand. We got a bunch of great players. We had a bunch of great calls. Matt [Canada has] been calling good games. He's been putting us in good spots. We just got to make the plays for him."
Nonetheless, there has been little explosiveness to the offense. The Steelers are the only team in the league without a run of at least 20 yards or a completion of at least 40 yards.
If that continues against the Jets, it will be Trubisky who will hear most of the noise, especially because it's hard to direct displeasure at Matt Canada in the coaches' box. And most of it will involve the fans wanting Tomlin to hear their noise — put in Kenny Pickett — even though that does not appear to be on his immediate agenda.
"That's going to happen when you're not scoring as many points as people think you should," Trubisky said. "The plays are on film. Before you start pointing fingers, you got to look at yourself and see what you can do better. For me, it's getting the ball to the playmakers. If we make more plays, it looks better."
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This story was originally published September 28, 2022 7:00 PM.