The Steelers updated their depth chart following the Week 4 loss to the Jets, and it’s officially time for the Kenny Pickett show in Pittsburgh.
In an expected move, Mike Tomlin made the choice to roll with Kenny Pickett as starting quarterback against the Buffalo Bills next week, the team’s official depth chart confirms. (No, this isn’t a clerical error this time). Pickett saw the field for the very first time in the second half against the New York Jets.
Despite throwing three interceptions in just two quarters of play, the Pittsburgh Steelers either believe that Pickett gives this team the best chance to win moving forward, or that it was time to make a switch to the player they intend to be the future face of the franchise.
Pickett was far from perfect in his first NFL action. He threw two questionable passes that were both tipped and picked by the Jets (his third pick was on a hail mary attempt with no time left on the clock). However, his film was mostly positive and encouraging.
Going back and watching the game for a second time on Monday morning, it was clear to see that Pickett brought a different energy level and spark that had been previously lacking. However, the most notable difference between Pickett and Trubisky was the rookie’s willingness to rip the ball over the middle of the field. His best throw of the day was a dart near the goal line to Pat Freiermuth with DT Quinnen Williams barreling down on him and offering a huge hit at the end of the play.
Steelers don’t have the choice to turn back
As I mentioned in a previous article, once Mike Tomlin made this switch official, there is no going back. It would be incredibly unwise to bench Kenny Pickett for anything short of an injury at this point. This is the face of the franchise, and they need to ride the waves with him moving forward no matter what.
This is what fans wanted and it’s what should happen, so we are glad to see the change finally occur. I argued on the Still Curtain Podcast last week that Tomlin should have made the change following the loss to the Browns. That way, Pickett would have had a full 10 days to prepare to face the Jets at home. Instead, it was a trial by fire for Pickett after not taking any starter reps last week, but being asked to jump into action and get his feet wet on the fly.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a brutal slate of games on the horizon starting with the Buffalo Bills on the road this week. Now we just need to hope that Matt Canada’s offense doesn’t try to handicap Pickett.
The team has decided to move forward with the rookie at the helm, and they need to be as flexible and accommodating as possible in order to utilize his skill set and make sure that he doesn’t fail.