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Ben Roethlisberger surprised Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin by making a QB change at halftime


The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially made a change at quarterback, naming rookie Kenny Pickett as the starter under center after replacing Mitch Trubisky at halftime of the Steelers’ Week 4 loss to the New York Jets.

Trubisky, who started the first four games of the regular season, struggled in the first half against New York, completing 7 of 13 passes for 84 yards and an interception. Pittsburgh managed only six points in the first half, prompting head coach Mike Tomlin to turn to Pickett in the second half.

Pittsburgh Steelers number 8 Kenny Pickett celebrates after scoring a third-quarter touchdown against the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium on October 2, 2022 in Pittsburgh.
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The move seemed inevitable at some point this season, but Steelers great Ben Roethlisberger was surprised at the time.

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“I was surprised. For me, the whole offense was stagnant,” Roethlisberger. he said this week on his podcast.

“They’re not running the ball very well,” he continued. “Nothing is really happening. But for me, when you pull it [Trubisky]I understand what you are trying to do. You are trying to create a spark. Which, I think happened… When you put someone new in a position like that, it’s going to create a kind of spark. It will create energy. He’s going to do that.”

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Pickett provided a spark for Pittsburgh in its half game against New York, scoring the Steelers’ only two rushing touchdowns of the game in a 24–20 loss.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett, #8, celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday October 2, 2022, in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett, #8, celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday October 2, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
(AP Photo/Don Wright)

However, Pickett struggled as the rookie threw three interceptions in 13 attempts, although one of his interceptions was on a last-second Hail Mary.

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“But in my opinion, I didn’t know it had to happen,” Roethlisberger said. “But Mike [Tomlin] Coach. He did it.

Ben Roethlisberger throws out a ceremonial first pitch before the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 29, 2022 in Pittsburgh.

Ben Roethlisberger throws out a ceremonial first pitch before the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 29, 2022 in Pittsburgh.
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

“I heard the stadium was very loud. Obviously, it energized the defense, the fans, the offense. Minkah [Fitzpatrick] get that pick-six. Everything is falling into place.”

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Pickett’s first start will be a tough road game against the 3-1 Bills and a defense that allows the fewest passing yards per game. The Bills have given up three touchdowns through the air while racking up seven interceptions.



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