Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made the change midway through the game, and it looks like he’s moving forward.
Kenny Pickett, the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, will head into Week 5 with the Steelers as their presumed starter, making a trade for Mitch Trubisky, the NFL Network reported Monday.
Trubisky started the season as the team’s starter, but the Steelers were 1-2 going into their home matchup against the New York Jets, who owned the same record. But after entering the first half with a stagnant offense, Tomlin said he believed his team needed a spark, and Pickett was placed the rest of the way.
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As the Steelers kept trailing, Pickett found the end zone twice with his legs and threw for 120 yards on 10-for-13 through the air with no touchdowns. All three of Pickett’s misses were interceptions, so he will have to correct himself in the future.
Pickett’s first career pass attempt was a pick by Jets safety Jordan Whitehead on a deflection intended for Chase Claypool. But Pickett settled down a bit and showed promise.
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The Steelers always started this season with a true quarterback contest between Trubisky, Pickett and Mason Rudolph, which Trubisky ended up coming out on top of. But as such, his position was never set in stone: Performances would have to produce success or Tomlin would trade a quarterback Pittsburgh selected to be his potential long-term replacement after Ben Roethlisberger retired at the end of last season. .
Pickett is a local product, having spent five seasons at the University of Pittsburgh. He also became the first quarterback to record multiple rushing touchdowns in his first career game.
But he wanted more than that in his first contact with the NFL.
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“I’m just disappointed,” he said after the 24-20 loss. “I wanted to go in and get the win. Those are really the emotions. I was just disappointed that we didn’t get the result we worked so hard for.”
But the fans were rooting for him when he entered the game and acknowledge that he will need their continued support next week as he enters a hostile Buffalo Bills environment.
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Trubisky threw for 653 yards with a 59.5% completion rate with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his four games this season. He has an overall quarterback rating of 73.7.