Steelers, Mitchell Trubisky already hearing Kenny Pickett chants — and for good reason

Kenny Pickett is officially the most popular person in Pittsburgh.

On Sunday afternoon, as the Steelers lost their home opener to the New England Patriots, there were at least two occasions when the CBS broadcast microphone chanted “KEN-NY! KEN-NY!” And expressing his desire that Michelle Trubisky be drawn to the side of the rookie quarterback. And it wasn’t just the fans – longtime Steelers beat reporter Ed Bouchet tweeted They must have seen a lot from Trubisky as well.

Every team has this problem when it struggles aggressively and there is a famous or interesting quarterback on the bench behind the starter. And to be fair, offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been heavily criticized.

That said, fans weren’t chanting to replace anyone. Him. Against New England, the Steelers went three-out to open the game, but then converted five straight third-down opportunities on two possessions, still coming up with only three points. A drive ended when Trubisky was stopped on a badly bowled first-down ball from the Patriots’ half of the field:

On the next drive, Pittsburgh moved the ball very well and New England reached 13 when a third-down streak ended with Trubisky being sacked for a 5-yard loss. The Steelers settled for a field goal.

Trubisky is clearly not a long-term QB solution. That may not even be a short-term solution as Pittsburgh picked Pickett 20th overall in this year’s draft, a former University of Pittsburgh star who played in college at the same stadium as the Steelers and was very familiar with his new team.

“It is what it is,” Trubisky said of the chants after the game. “You just block it.”

Despite being in his sixth NFL season and spending the last year with Buffalo as a backup, it seems Trubisky hasn’t developed much since entering the league. He has his moments, but they are outweighed by poor decision-making, inconsistent throwing, a penchant for telegraphing passes, and poor sacking.

In two games this season, Trubisky and the Steelers’ offense have only scored two touchdowns, and have advanced into the red zone only four times. Last week, the defense forced five turnovers — and offense — in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Even then Overtime is required, not to mention a lucky blocked extra point, to reach only 23 points as regulation ended.

“We didn’t move the ball well enough,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said after Sunday’s loss. “Not Enough ‘Splash’ [plays]’, especially in dwindling moments.”

Trubisky’s longest finish against New England was 23 yards, at the end of the first half. Tomlin credits the Patriots’ defense, particularly pointing to the presence of veteran safety Devin McCourty, as the reason the Steelers didn’t have many deep attempts. But Trubisky averaged only 5.1 yards per attempt on the day, with only 168 yards on 21 completions.

If Mitchell Trubisky and the Steelers offense doesn’t improve, and rapidly, it may soon be Kenny Pickett’s time. (AP Photo/Phil Powelly)

It wasn’t Trubisky at all. Former Patriot Gunner Olszewski muffed the punt of the third quarter and New England returned to the Pittsburgh 10, the latter scoring three plays to lead 17-6. The Steelers’ defensive front, playing without an injured TJ Watts, was not able to take advantage of a subpar New England offensive line, failed to sack Mack Jones and was credited with only three quarterback hits.

The days ahead in Pittsburgh will be filled with calls to handle Piquet, but the Steelers will play in a short week with a matchup against division rival Cleveland on Thursday night. So playing a rookie against a strong defense with only a few days of preparation seems less than ideal.

But week 4? That’s a different story. The Steelers host the Jets on October 2, and by then the call for Pickett may be deaf.

Tomlin has never been one to succumb to outside pressure, but as soon as Pittsburgh drafted Piquet, Trubisky was set to become the bridge quarterback. Trubisky’s own play is making it clear that this must be a short bridge.

The Steelers have a plethora of talented skill players from Nazi Harris to Dionte Johnson to Chase Claypool. Even with Wat Healing, they have a solid defense. He needs a better quarterback to be competitive in the incredibly strong AFC.

They might have one on the bench. They won’t know until they do what fans want and move on from Trubisky.

Source link