At various points during the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-14 loss to the New England Patriots, the crowd at Acrisure Stadium could be heard chanting Kenny Pickett’s name. Pickett, the Steelers’ first-round pick, is Mitch Trubisky’s backup, and with Trubisky’s performance today, some obviously felt the rookie would be a better option. Trubisky was asked about the chants in his postgame press conference and if it’s difficult to block out the calls for his backup to come in.
“It is what it is. You just block it out and continue to play football,” Trubisky said via the team’s YouTube channel.
Given that Pickett played his college ball at The University of Pittsburgh, he obviously already has a large subset of fans who watched him throughout his college career and want to see him play for their favorite NFL team. With that being said, the calls for Pickett are going to get louder and louder if the offense led by Trubisky continues to struggle. Trubisky threw for just 168 yards and the offense stalled out early and often, with the first drive ending in a three-and-out and the second ending in a Trubisky interception.
It was an ugly performance, and it’s one that has to be cleaned up if Pittsburgh wants to have any shot at competing this season. If Trubisky struggles on Thursday night against the Browns, the calls for Pickett will be even louder given he’ll have over a week to prepare for the New York Jets in Week 4. I doubt the Steelers want to turn to Pickett that early, but the offense simply hasn’t looked very good in the last two weeks, and a lot of that falls on Trubisky. He has to be better, and if he is, the offense as a whole will be better. He’s the leader of the offense, and if he’s able to make plays, things might start to fall into place.
If that doesn’t happen, people are going to want to see Pickett. Not only is he the local guy, but he’s like a shiny new toy that nobody’s seen before. Trubisky’s been in the league for a while, and while that experience serves to help him at times, it also means people have seen what he is and isn’t capable of. His performance right now is reminiscent of the one that got him replaced in Chicago. If he doesn’t pick it up soon, he could meet the same fate in Pittsburgh.