Exactly 250 days after Ben Roethlisberger retired, the Steelers ushered in a new era. The Steelers made a significant change to their depth chart Tuesday, as Kenny Pickett has been penciled in as Pittsburgh's starting quarterback for Sunday's road game against the Bills

Pickett replaced Mitch Trubisky at halftime during this past Sunday's home game against the Jets. While he was unable to lead the Steelers to a win, Pickett provided a spark to an offense that had scored just four touchdowns during the season's first 14 quarters. 

"Kenny has shown us maturity at every point throughout this process," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said during his weekly press conference. "He's older than most rookies and that was obvious leading up to the draft process. The things that we valued in him from a draft perspective -- fluid and quick decision making, pro like anticipation and things of that nature -- have proven to be true. That's why we took him when we were given the opportunity to do so. 

"Since we've acquired them, he's done nothing but fortify that thought process and make some plays during team development and during the preseason. And he's continually gotten better even after the regular season has started. Those of us that are here day-to-day from a practice standpoint, know and understand that and see the progress. Equally as important (has been) his mature and professional approach to readiness. And so we're excited for him and about him. But we've got work, for all of us as a collective. We're all responsible."

Kenny Pickett
PIT • QB • #8
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The 20th overall pick in April's draft, Pickett started his career as the Steelers' third-string quarterback behind Trubisky and veteran Mason Rudolph. The former Pitt Panthers' standout started to ascend up the depth chart during training camp, as he started to see more reps with the first-team offense. Pickett moved past Rudolph on the depth chart following a strong preseason that included a 124.6 passer rating, the highest among rookie quarterbacks. 

Pickett, who entered last Sunday's game with the Steelers trailing, 10-6, went 10 of 13 for 120 yards while becoming the first quarterback in league history to run for two touchdowns in his regular season debut. Pickett's touchdown runs helped propel Pittsburgh to a 10-point lead, but his second of three interceptions set up the Jets' game-winning score. 

"I thought we put some points on the board, obviously," Tomlin said of the Steeles' offense last Sunday with Pickett in the game. "Wasn't the perfect half of play with turning the ball over. You can't do that. You know, he's a young guy. He's going grow throughout this process, but make no mistake about it, we're not grading him on a curve. He's not grading himself on a curve. There's an expectation of quality play." 

Pickett's first start won't be an easy one. The Steelers will face a Bills defense that is second in the NFL in points allowed, first in passing yards allowed and third in rushing yards allowed. Buffalo is vulnerable on third down and in the red zone, however, as it is 19th and 24th in the league in those areas, respectively. 

"Obviously, we have a level of concern about the environment that we're taking (Pickett) into, but you'd have a level of concern about any quarterback that you're taking into that environment versus that defense and that venue," Tomlin said. 

Tomlin said that Trubisky took the news of his demotion that you would expect, with disappointment. That said, Tomlin expects Trubisky to continue to act in a manner that led to his teammates naming him as a captain during the summer. 

"I'm sure that Mitch is going to be professional," Tomlin said. "Mitch has been a part of that program in Buffalo. I'm sure he's going to be a positive contributor to our readiness and provide awesome insight throughout the preparation process and be a big help to Kenny. 

"I just appreciate the professionalism all of our quarterbacks have displayed throughout this process. All of them. Mason, Kenny, Mitch, they've been a pleasure to work with."