On episode six of his Footbahlin podcast, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he was surprised that the Steelers turned to Kenny Pickett and said he didn’t feel Mitch Trubisky was an issue, rather it was more of the offense as a whole.
“I was really surprised,” Roethlisberger said. “To me, the whole offense was stagnant. I didn’t think it was Mitch,” he added.
Roethlisberger also said the offense was close to scoring a touchdown on Trubisky’s end zone pass to Diontae Johnson where Johnson had a toe out of bounds.
“They get down there, there’s opportunities. The whole offense looks stagnant to me. They’re not running the ball real well, there’s nothing really going on,” he said. “
While it’s true the offense as a whole has its problems, I don’t think anybody can deny that they looked a whole lot better with Pickett under center. Roethlisberger did compliment Pickett’s performance and said that when you make a change at quarterback, there’s always going to be a spark (which is going to be the word of the week in Pittsburgh). He also said that he and Pickett have been texting since the end of Sunday’s game. Still, he said he doesn’t know if there really needed to be a quarterback change.
“But in my opinion, I didn’t know that it needed to happen.”
I think it is fair to wonder whether that pass to Johnson is completed if a change is made mid-game, but the offense certainly was different with Pickett under center. Schematically, nothing changed either, as guard James Daniels said earlier the team was still running the same plays. With Pickett at quarterback, the team looked a lot better. Maybe you can attribute some of that to them feeding off the energy of the crowd, but I really don’t think you get the same result (14 points) if you keep Trubisky in.
Trubisky’s handled the whole situation with class, so this isn’t meant to really be a knock on him, but he had three full games and the first half of the Jets game yesterday to show he could get the offense over the hump. Instead, they struggled to score week after week, with two offensive touchdowns in Week 3 being the most they would score. That just doesn’t cut it in the NFL. With six points on the board at the half, Mike Tomlin had obviously seen enough and went to the rookie. The Steelers still lost, but the offense looked a heck of a lot better. So I don’t really agree with Roethlisberger that a change wasn’t necessary.
We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks. The Steelers are reportedly sticking with Pickett going forward, and while he has a tough stretch these next few weeks, it’ll be fun to watch with the rookie under center and see if he’ll be able to steal a game or two.