Steelers name Kenny Pickett starting quarterback
The toothpaste was never going back in the tube.
After seeing his first playing time in Sunday’s loss to the Jets, Kenny Pickett has been named the Steelers starting quarterback.
Pittsburgh released the news with its depth chart for Week Five, with Pickett ahead of Mitch Trubisky. And then head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed it during his Tuesday press conference.
“We made a change in game and Kenny will start this week,” Tomlin said. “Obviously, Mitch’s performance was a component of the decision but not the only component of the decision. And I just want to be really clear there. Oftentimes, the quarterback position gets too much credit, too much blame. We haven’t moved the ball fluidly enough for our liking. We hadn’t put enough points on the board. The quarterback is a component of that but not the only component. We’ve all got to absorb the responsibility that comes with what we haven’t done, particularly in that phase — including myself and starting with myself.
“When you make a quarterback change, you’re really sensitive to that component of it because I don’t want to dump the responsibility of what transpired at Mitch’s feet. That’s not fair to him. He’s played better than that description. But we haven’t. So 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 hopes that he would provide a spark for us.
“We felt that, not only in terms of our ability to move the ball, but just in terms of energy. So hopefully, that’s a catalyst for us as we try to move forward and change you outcome of some of these games.”
Trubisky completed 60 percent of his passes for 653 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his four starts. He was averaging just 5.6 yards per attempt and had a passer rating of 73.7.
Pickett, the 20th overall pick of this year’s draft, entered Sunday’s game after halftime and provided a bit of a spark for Pittsburgh’s offense. He finished 10-of-13 passing for 120 yards with three interceptions. But he ran in two touchdowns, becoming the first QB to rush for two TDs in his debut.
Now Pickett will face a significant challenge as the Bills enter the week with the league’s No. 1 defense in yards allowed and No. 2 defense in points allowed.