Steelers Sticking With QB Change, Rookie Kenny Pickett Officially Named Starter

Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett in 2021
Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett in 2021. Photo by Scott Kinser/CSM/Shutterstock (12631114bq)

The Pittsburgh Steelers made a quarterback change last week, going from starter Mitch Trubisky to rookie Kenny Pickett, looking for a “spark” in the second half of the Week 4 game against the New York Jets. And while this wasn’t enough for the Steelers to get the win, the coaching staff saw enough to make the change permanent.

The Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomin announced earlier this week that Pickett would be their new starting quarterback moving forward. The Pitt product will get his first career start on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. 

Explaining his decision, Tomlin said that the move isn’t solely based on Trubisky’s performance but that he believes the team will have a better chance to win with Pickett.

“in an effort to be better, in an effort to score more points, in an effort to move the ball more fluidly, we decided to go to Kenny in the hope that he would provide a spark for us,” said Tomlin. “ … not only in terms of our ability to move the ball, but just in terms of energy.”

“And so, hopefully, that’s a catalyst for us as we try to move forward and change the outcome of some of these games,” he added.

Mitch Trubisky, who came to Pittsburgh as a free agent this offseason, struggled during his run as the Steelers’ starter. He completed only 59.5 percent of his passes while throwing for just 653 yards and two touchdowns. Trubisky also threw two interceptions.

Stepping in for Trubisky versus the Jets, Pickett threw for 120 yards in two quarters while having two rushing touchdowns. However, he also threw three interceptions, including one in the last drive of the game. 

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