PITTSBURGH -- It took three and a half games, but rookie Kenny Pickett has replaced Mitch Trubisky as the Steelers' starting quarterback, at least for the second half Sunday against the Jets. Pickett made his NFL regular season at the start of the third quarter, with the Steelers trailing the Jets, 10-6.
Pickett's first pass, intended for Chase Claypool, was picked off by the Jets' Jordan Whitehead. He quickly. made up for it by scoring his first regular season touchdown moments later on a one-yard run. The score was set up by Minkah Fitzpatrick's interception of Zach Wilson.
A former Pro Bowler with the Bears, Trubisky completed 60.2% of his passes during the season's first three games. He threw two touchdowns and one interception as the Steelers' offense scored just four touchdowns over that span. Trubisky threw his second interception of the season during the first half of Sunday's game. The pick set up the game's first score.
Pickett was elevated to the primary backup spot following a successful training camp and preseason. The 20th overall pick in April's draft, Pickett threw three touchdowns against zero interceptions during the preseason while completing nearly 81% of his passes.
"Really pleased with the growth and development of Kenny; that's why he's listed as number two," Mike Tomlin said of his rookie quarterback prior to the start of the regular season. "I thought his acceleration of development really took off once we started stepping into stadiums. His decision making the fluidity of it, his competitive spirit, his pinpoint accuracy, all of those things I thought really came to the forefront once we started coming into stadiums.
"I also think is reasonable to expect that growth and development to continue as we push into the regular season. We're excited about where he is and the ground that he's covered to this point and the ground he is going to continue to cover as we find out regular season rhythm. ... Just really excited about where he is and what he's capable of."