It only took 3 ½ games for Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to decide he’d seen enough of Mitch Trubisky. Tomlin couldn’t have chosen a better time to make the switch than during their Week 4 tilt with the New York Jets at home in Pittsburgh. Pickett got a mega standing ovation as the hometown kid who played his college ball in the same stadium for the University of Pittsburgh.
Coming into the season, every analyst on tv and radio tried guessing when the change would occur. Some even favored Pickett beginning the season as Pittsburgh’s Week 1 starter over Trubisky. But this move was inevitable and bound to happen at some point in the season. Trubisky had clearly been unimpressive, and while he wasn’t the worst, the Steelers had lost two in a row coming into the Jets game.
Trubisky and the offense haven’t been lighting it up by any means. Hell, they’ve barely been average. Before he was replaced, Trubisky was 7 of 13 for 84 yards passing and an interception. Pickett came in and completed 6 of his first 7 pass attempts. Pickett also threw an INT, but that’s to be expected in the first regular season action of his career.
It’s a good move to go with this kid early in the season, especially when your veteran quarterback isn’t playing well. It’d be one thing if Trubisky was doing just enough for the Steelers to win. But after starting 1-0, the Steelers dropped games to the Patriots and Browns. New England could barely figure out who was calling plays coming into the season, and the Steelers lost to them but only allowed 17 points. The final score of that game was 17-14 in Week 2. If that’s the offensive output Trubisky is residing over, then you might as well play the rookie. And that’s where we are now.
Ultimately, Pickett’s first game didn’t go as planned since the Steelers lost to the Jets, 24-20. There were some good moments for Pickett in the game besides two INTs, one of which came late in the fourth quarter and set the Jets up for the go-ahead score. But the future is now in Pittsburgh, and Steelers fans hope they’ve found their next franchise QB.
Pickett will get his first NFL start next week against the Buffalo Bills unless something changes. That could be Pickett’s first “welcome to the league” moment, as that game will take place in Buffalo.