On Tuesday, HC Mike Tomlin spoke to the media in his weekly press conference, where he talked about the events of Sunday’s upset win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and previewed the team’s upcoming Week 7 matchup on the road Sunday night against the Miami Dolphins.
When asked about his decision to stick with Pickett after Trubisky came off the bench last week to help Pittsburgh secure victory against Tom Brady and the Bucs, Tomlin stated that he intends to be unwavering in his message to the team despite Trubisky’s strong performance.
“It’s really just not a lot to talk about,” Tomlin said to the media Tuesday, which aired live from the team’s YouTube channel. “We’re not going to blow in the wind. We’re going to be somewhat steady. I have been consistent in my messaging regarding the decision making at that position. I think it helps those that are playing. I think it helps the team in terms of who to follow and we’re not going to flip the script now.”
Pittsburgh managed to come away with the victory on Sunday at home against the Bucs despite missing nearly its entire starting secondary due to injuries as well as losing QB Kenny Pickett in the second half due to a concussion. Mitch Trubisky stepped in for Pickett and proceeded to have his best performance of the season coming off the bench. He went 9/12 (75%) for 122 yards and a TD and carried the ball six times for five yards with a long of nine yards on the ground. He finished the outing with a QB rating of 142.4 in the upset win against the Buccaneers.
While Trubisky is still recognized as a team captain for Pittsburgh, Tomlin has made it clearly known that this is Kenny Pickett’s team now and for the foreseeable future. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t appreciative for Trubisky’s efforts, which he made sure to commend following the game in his postgame press conference. Rather, Tomlin understands not to let less than a half of football override what he saw from Trubisky for 3.5 games before opting to go with Pickett in the second half against the New York Jets in Week 4.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may be looking to compete for a playoff spot this season, but the development and evaluation of Kenny Pickett takes precedent, as the future success of the franchise is tied to their first-round rookie QB. To allow Pickett to continue to adjust to the NFL game and prevent stalling his development or messing with his confidence by putting Trubisky back into the game after Pickett left due to a concussion, Pittsburgh appears primed to continue to roll with its rookie QB the rest of this season and for the foreseeable future should he be healthy.