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Steelers Rumors: Benching Mitchell Trubisky for Kenny Pickett Hasn't Been Discussed

Erin WalshSeptember 22, 2022

Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Mitchell Trubisky hasn't had the best start to his tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the franchise isn't considering turning to rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett just yet.

"My understanding is there's been no conversations as of now about replacing Mitchell Trubisky and, in fact, going into the season the hope was that Trubisky would be the starting quarterback the entire season," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Thursday.

Trubisky and the Steelers are 1-1 on the season entering Thursday's game against the Cleveland Browns, and the veteran quarterback has been underwhelming. He has completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 362 yards and two touchdowns against one interception.

A big gripe from the Pittsburgh fan base has been about Trubisky's reluctance to take shots downfield. Through the first two games of the season, he's averaging 5.1 yards per attempt which is the second-worst mark in the NFL.

While meeting with reporters earlier this week, Trubisky acknowledged that the team needs to do a better job of getting more downfield passing into the offensive scheme:

"Call concepts to get receivers there. When the coverage dictates that, get them the ball within that. ... We like our outside matchups. We've got really good receivers. We've got really good talent across the board. We'd like to attack all areas of the field and get the ball to our playmakers. So, we could do a little bit better at everything, for sure."

In addition to downfield issues, rookie wide receiver George Pickens has frequently found himself wide open, but Trubisky has targeted him just five times through the first two weeks. He caught two of those passes for 26 yards.

Even if Trubisky continues to struggle against the Browns, it's hard to imagine the Steelers appointing Pickett their starting quarterback after head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged that he was going to be patient with the 2017 second overall pick:

"I'm going to exercise appropriate patience and continue to teach and ask the guys to continue to learn in an effort to continue to push this train down the track and get better. I think that if anyone is sitting here on Monday in Week 2 of this thing feeling happy, they're probably wrong or misinformed."

Pickett is undoubtedly Pittsburgh's future at quarterback, and he's going to get his time to prove himself, whether that be this season or in 2023. For now, fans should get used to Trubisky under center.

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