Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass in the fourth quarter during a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Justin Berl/Getty Images


  • Kenny Pickett has been named as the new starting quarterback for the Steelers
  • Pickett passed the eye test when he came on for Mitch Trubisky in Week 4
  • Going up against the Buffalo Bills will test how ready he is for the limelight

The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to take a drastic course of action and hand over the reins of the offense to rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.

NFL insider Ian Rapoport first reported the change to the depth chart, with former starter Mitch Trubisky being relegated to the bench and Pickett on track to make his first-ever NFL start against the Buffalo Bills on Week 5.

Pickett's NFL debut came at the expense of Trubisky during Week 4 against the New York Jets after the latter threw for 84 yards on 7-of-13 passing attempts plus one interception, with the rookie being slotted in after the first half.

The former Pittsburgh Panthers play caller also struggled against the Jets after throwing three interceptions of his own–two of which were not entirely his fault and the last being a decent attempt at a Hail Mary play.

It is worth noting that Pickett ended the night with 10 completions on 13 passing attempts, good for 120 yards, plus two rushing touchdowns which meant that he was perfect for the entirety of the second half other than the interceptions.

If one were to look at the box score and the stats only, it is highly likely that the takeaway would be that he is not that much better than Trubisky and the Steelers may be making a mistake in deciding to start him against the Bills.

However, Pickett looked extremely good for a rookie quarterback who only knew he was starting during the halftime break.

When he took the field, he settled in pretty well under center and gave the Steelers' offense a much-needed boost when the Jets were threatening to close them out.

Late in the third quarter, the Steelers' offensive line gave Pickett just enough time to fire a back-shoulder throw to new wide receiver George Pickens.

Pickett again flexed his quarterback IQ when he found tight end Pat Freiermuth right down the middle, giving the Steelers a shot at goal from within five yards–with Pickett himself closing out the drive with his second rushing touchdown while shedding Jets linebackers.

The Steelers understandably liked Pickett's more aggressive playing style rather than Trubisky's more conservative play calling and are deciding to trust the rookie moving forward.

Head coach Mike Tomlin will need to make sure their prized rookie is primed for the limelight as they face the Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles on their schedule before their Week 9 bye.

The Pickett era is on the rise in Pittsburgh and his performance against the vaunted Bills defense led by their own prized offseason signing in Von Miller will be his truest litmus test.

Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steeler
Mitch Trubisky #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up before a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Justin Berl/Getty Images