Mark Madden: Starting with Mitch Trubesky, you haven’t liked much about the Steelers camp yet

Mitch Trubesky struggled mostly at Steelers training camp. He had 17 incomplete streaks during his “seven shots”. On Thursday, Trubisky punctuated going 0-for-4 during a one-team stint by swinging his helmet in frustration.

Trubisky with a new team and learns a new offense. Hiccups were inevitable. But except for a good Wednesday, the first two weeks were tough.

Rookie Kenny Beckett is no miracle. He holds the ball for a very long time, often pulling it down if his first reading isn’t there.

Mason Rudolph has been the most consistent quarterback. It might just be because he knows the offense, but that’s a big difference.

The Steelers are in the playoff bubble if they’re lucky, and the odds of them being as lucky as they did at the end of last season aren’t good.

Ben Roethlisberger was so still last year he could use a walker. But he kept the games close. When the last 15 minutes came, he assumed Call Play and used his cue to issue six wins in the fourth quarter (and another in overtime).

The Steelers won’t get that this year.

Roethlisberger’s critics say improved midfield play and expanded attacking by hopping QB would put the Steelers in a better position to win after the first three quarters.

To them I ask: Are you sure of that?


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The quarterback “competition” for the Steelers is a hoax. Trubisky was predetermined at the start of the first week the minute he fell, excluding the injury.

But pretend that the “competition” is real. Think of a stupid idea the Steelers wouldn’t do.

How long is the “competition”? Does it make sense to start Rudolph’s first week in Cincinnati, and then move on from there? If Rudolph wins, leave him. If he doesn’t, see how long it takes Trubisky or even Pickett to really catch up on the learning curve.

It’s a stupid idea, especially because the pre-season matches haven’t been played. Fairs have rarely meant as much as this year, especially in terms of the QB stand. Having said that, Trubisky would have to be totally smelly to lose the job.

But he’s given that decent run so far.

The Steelers are facing a strange kind of pressure this season.

Very few of them see them in the playoffs. But coaches and players expect that. The Steelers have a hard time seeing themselves as they are. Small teams tend to deceive themselves.

Trubisky is trying to restart his career, Pickett is trying to establish his career, and Rudolph doesn’t want to end his career.

Head coach Mike Tomlin has this overrated streak of never having a losing season.

Defense is the highest paid in the NFL and has three really elite players but it might not be that good. It was not last season.

The offensive line only hoped that no one on their guard would be killed. It’s one of the worst NFL games.

Different people face different types of stress.

The pressure on Tomlin goes beyond his line.

This is Tomlin’s first season without the Hall-of-Fame quarterback. It’s a team that needs training above his talent level to succeed.

Let’s see if Tomlin is as smart as he thinks he should be.

It wasn’t a great camp yet. Very little positive stands out. TJ Watt is dominant but plays against the Steelers’ offensive line. Watt could double the NFL sack record for one season if he plays 17 games against that streak. (But would Watt be healthy enough to play 17 games?)

It could take two seasons to recover from Roethlisberger’s retirement and the state in which the roster finds itself. It wouldn’t be unreasonable, but the fan base is not known for its patience.

Or maybe the Steelers are stuck in a mid-end cycle, mid-draft, staying in the middle.