The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2022 NFL season with a quarterback controversy, which has only been amplified by the team’s play out of the gate.
Pittsburgh lost at the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, 29-17, falling to 1-2. Head coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers have rolled with free-agent signee Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback over Mason Rudolph, who has made 10 NFL starts, and rookie Kenny Pickett, who they selected with the No. 20 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Trubisky has totaled 569 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception and a 77.7 quarterback rating, completing 60.2% of his passes this season. He has also rushed for 23 yards and one touchdown.
Former NFL wide receiver Amani Toomer contended on Friday’s edition of “The Carton Show” that the Steelers should bench Trubisky in favor of Pickett, pronto.
“I’d make the move now [starting Pickett] because the team just seemed deflated,” Toomer said of the Steelers offense after its Thursday night loss to the Browns. “They didn’t seem like the Steelers that I would ordinarily see. I think you got to move on. The whole team looked like they just didn’t have the energy last night because they didn’t have anybody to believe in.”
Will Tomlin bench Trubisky for Pickett after Steelers fall 1-2?
Craig Carton, Greg Jennings and Amani Toomer discuss whether Mike Tomlin will bend to fan pressure and start Kenny Pickett over Mitchell Trubisky.
FOX Sports NFL analyst Greg Jennings concurred with Toomer, arguing that Pittsburgh is failing to take advantage of a high-caliber receiving core.
“As a receiver, we feel like we are what makes the team go,” Jennings said. “Let’s face it: this is a passing league. And you have arguably one of the best receiving cores in all of football, but nobody knows it because of your quarterback situation. But yet if you make the move – and I get it, [Pickett’s] young – but you’re going to make that move eventually, so why not now?
“Your defense is the focal point of your team. They’re the engine right now. You can allow him time to progress, get experience, be exposed while making this move with a young receiving core now.”
Pittsburgh’s wide receiving corps includes Diontae Johnson, who totaled 107 receptions and 1,161 receiving yards last season, Chase Claypool and rookie George Pickens, who pulled off an unreal catch on Thursday night. They also have second-year tight end Pat Freiermuth and running back Najee Harris.
Pittsburgh is averaging 18.0 points (22nd in the NFL) and 272.7 yards (28th) per game this season. Matt Canada is in his second season as the team’s offensive coordinator.
On the other side of the ball, the Steelers have defensive pillars in linebackers TJ Watt and Devin Bush, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward. At the moment, they’re without Watt due to a torn pectoral, though.
Pittsburgh hosts the New York Jets on Oct. 2.
Get more from the National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more.