PITTSBURGH -- Mitch Trubisky embraced a far different role from his usual ones earlier this week. Instead of being the Steelers' backup quarterback and team captain, Trubisky played the role of Scarecrow during his family's "Wizard of Oz" themed Halloween. His wife dressed as Dorothy, while the couple's infant son -- who was born shortly after the Trubiskys moved to Pittsburgh -- was a little lion.
Unlike the Cowardly Lion, Trubisky has not had a shortage of courage during his first season in Pittsburgh. He has continued to emerge as a team leader despite his reduced role on the team after Kenny Pickett replaced him five weeks ago. Trubisky lost his starting quarterback job, but he continues to take his role seriously as a team captain, something he earned from his teammates this summer.
"Being voted a captain is just a huge honor," Trubisky said during a one-on-one interview with CBS Sports during the Steelers' final practice of their bye week. "No matter what happens, whether I'm playing or not, I just continue wearing that badge of honor. Just coming in here and continuing to be a great teammate and leader. That was a huge thing that they did, electing me a captain, so I just want to live up to that every day that I can."
While being a captain is not unfamiliar territory, Trubisky admitted being a captain while not starting is new for him.
"I've been a captain in high school and in college, but I've never not played and been a captain," he said. "I think that's something that's new for me. Just trying to help out the young guys. Sometimes it's more of a coaching role, helping young guys get locked in or assignment-based, and just trying to be a leader anywhere that I can.
"It's a little bit different when you're not playing, but there are still ways to contribute and that's what I'm looking to do."
Trubisky's continued focus on being a team leader has been felt by teammates, who said that his demeanor hasn't changed despite losing his starting job.
"Not even a little," starting offensive lineman Kevin Dotson said. "His leadership is still there. I definitely commend him on that because a lot of people, if you're not starting, it can start getting a little sad, a little gloomy. But his mindset never changed. He's doing everything he can to keep our heads right. He keeps his own head right. He still helps all the quarterbacks and stuff. He's not salty at all. It's just a cool thing to have."
"Mitch is great," added veteran backup running back Benny Snell. "All the way since we were throwing seven-on-seven in the summer. Mitch has been the same consistent good dude and a good quarterback."
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Trubisky attributes his wife for helping him stay focused on football amid the challenges of being a new quarterback in a new city and also being a first-time dad. He and his wife have also enjoyed living in Pittsburgh. The Trubiskys have already found a go-to spot -- Mediterra Cafe in Sewickley -- to retreat to when given some downtime.
"We've enjoyed our time here," he said. "Obviously, my son was born here, so it means a lot to us. We've been going through that, our first year as parents and just dealing with football stuff as we go. ... Love the people, the guys here. Love the fans."
Trubisky acknowledged the current struggles regarding the 2-6 Steelers, who have an uphill battle if they are going to avoid compiling the franchise's first losing season since George W. Bush's first term in office. Trubisky said that while he and the other captains continue to communicate, coach Mike Tomlin continues to have the biggest voice in the room.
"He's obviously the ultimate leader of our team," Trubisky said of his coach. "But everybody leads in different ways. I think the more chemistry and trust you build between teammates, you get to know each other and figure out how to lead the different guys. It's all about bringing everybody together to go for a common goal. That's what we're trying to build each day."
The common goal, Tomlin insists, remains on winning, despite the fact the Steelers traded starting receiver Chase Claypool for a second-round pick. The Steelers are balancing between prioritizing the future while also trying to put together a roster and game plan that is good enough to win in the interim.
It's going to take leaders and a consistent message in order to make that happen. This is where Trubisky can be a valuable asset to the Steelers during the season's final nine games, regardless of whether or not he takes another meaningful snap this season.
Before he and his teammates delve into the season's final nine games, Trubisky is looking forward to having some downtime with the family during the Steelers' bye week. Video games aren't his thing, but Trubisky said that he would unwind with a movie or a round of golf if given the time. Speaking of golf, Trubisky showed his competitive side when asked who was the best golfer on the Steelers. He was informed that cornerback Levi Wallace and punter Pressley Harvin III were among the's teams golfers.
"I'm better than Levi. I'm better than Pressley," he said with a smile. "I'm not even that good but I may be the best on this team. That's not saying much."
It's possible Trubisky may be the best quarterback on the Steelers' roster, too, but that's irrelevant now with the Pickett era underway. With Pickett entrenched as the starter, Trubisky's focus has shifted from competing with to helping his younger teammate while also keeping himself ready should he be called into action. Trubisky did that in spades the last time he played, making several key plays to help the Steelers close out the Buccaneers back in Week 6.
Before leaving the facility and beginning his long weekend, Trubisky was asked one final question: what has he learned about himself this season? He considered the question for a second before offering an answer befitting that of a captain and team leader.
"Just continue to stay true to who I am," he said. "It's not going exactly the way I want it, but this is a team game at the end of the day. You have to continue to put the team first, try to come in here with a great attitude, help your teammates and try to develop my skillset."