Ben Roethlisberger was like every other Steelers fan who watched the drama that unfolded during their Week 4 game against the Jets. The former Steelers' quarterback, who took in the game from home, did not believe what he was hearing from CBS Sports sideline reporter A.J. Ross, who alluded to a quarterback switch possibly happening at the start of the second half. 

Sure enough, a switch was made, as Kenny Pickett made his regular season debut in relief of Mitch Trubisky. The switch, which came three and a half games into the 2022 season and, may have been a tad premature, according to Roethlisberger. 

"I was surprised, because I didn't think that Mitch was (the main issue)," Roethlisberger said on the newest episode of his podcast. "The whole offense looks stagnant to me. They're not running on the ball real well. There's nothing really going on. 

"I get what you're trying to do. You're trying to create a spark, which I think happened. You will get a spark when you put someone new in at a position like that. It's going to create some sort of a spark, it's going to create energy. And you got that, but in my opinion, I don't know that it needed to happen, but Mike (Tomlin) is the coach, he did it ... and everything kind of fell into place."

Things did fall into place for the Steelers, at least in the immediate aftermath of the quarterback switch. Down 10-6 at halftime, Pickett ran for two scores as Pittsburgh led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter. But Pickett's second interception of the half, on a high pass to tight end Pat Freiermuth, led to the Jets' game-winning score. 

Roethlisberger communicated with Pickett after the game, a 24-20 loss to the Jets that dropped Pittsburgh's record to 1-3. 

"I think he's beating himself up a little bit on the (second) interception," Roethlisberger said. "He texted me saying, 'I've got throw that one away.' I'm like, 'Listen, you're talking to the guy that rarely threw a ball away. So just go play with confidence.'"

While the end result was an interception, Roethlisberger didn't think that Pickett's decision to try to make something happen on the play was the wrong one. 

"He drifted a little bit, which I thought he did a good job getting away from the pressure," Roethlisberger said. "And he even said, 'I kind of tried to throw it out there to Pat ...  I probably should have thrown it away.' Of course it's easy to say that now, but if he completes it, you'd be saying that it was a great play.  We've all had those. ... But at the end of the day, if he plays this game for a long time, he's going to have more opportunities to go both directions. To throw it away, or to complete that ball." 

Roethlisberger was complimentary of Pickett's debut overall. He particularly liked the toughness Pickett displayed when he stood tall while completing a pass to Freiermuth despite taking a nasty lick from Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams

"He got hit right in the chin," Roethlisberger said, "and stood in there and took it. "(He) kind of bounced up laughing about it. You like to see that, especially from a young guy." 

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Regarding the offense, Roethlisberger feels that a different approach regarding play calls would benefit the entire unit, not just the quarterback. 

"You can't be a predictable offense," he said. "I'm not saying that they are, but if feels like what I'm hearing from guys is we've got to do something different. I'd like to see them drop back and pass a little more. ... Let's throw on first, second and third down. Let's see what happens, or throw four or five in a row. As a quarterback. you want to get into a rhythm. Whether that's a three-yard down or (something down the field)." 

Now that a switch has been made, Roethlisberger feels that the Steelers should stay the course with Pickett, even with a challenging upcoming schedule that includes this Sunday's game against the Bills and their second-ranked scoring defense. 

"It's going be it's gonna be interesting to see where they go now," Roethlisberger said. "I don't think they can go back, but maybe Mike will because of the games we've got coming up. ... Do you want to vet in there, or do you want a rookie? Did he create enough of a spark for the offense to keep it going? It seems like some of the guys felt that way. I just don't think you can back and forth now."