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Steelers make change at quarterback; Mike Tomlin picks the rookie

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have lost three games in a row, including a Week 4 loss to the New York Jets during which the Steelers lost a 10-point fourth-quarter lead. 

The losing streak has led to a quarterback change with 2022 first-round NFL Draft pick Kenny Pickett getting the start in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills on the road. 

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) celebrates beside teammates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
(AP Photo/Don Wright)

Pickett, who replaced starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky at halftime Sunday, is now listed as QB1 on Pittsburgh’s depth chart. 

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“I don’t want to dump the responsibility of what transpired at Mitch’s feet,” head coach Mike Tomlin said at his Tuesday press conference, according to ESPN. “That’s not fair to him. He’s played better than that description, but we haven’t. And so, in an effort to be better, in an effort to score more points, in an effort to move the ball more fluidly, we decided to go to Kenny in the hope that he would provide a spark for us. We felt that, not only in terms of our ability to move the ball but just in terms of energy.

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“And so, hopefully, that’s a catalyst for us as we try to move forward and change the outcome of some of these games.”

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers argues a call during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium Sept. 22, 2022, in Cleveland. 

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers argues a call during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium Sept. 22, 2022, in Cleveland. 
(Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Pickett provided a spark for Pittsburgh in his one half of play against New York, scoring the Steelers’ only two touchdowns of the game on the ground in a 24-20 loss. 

Pickett’s first start will be a tough road game against the 3-1 Bills and a defense allowing the fewest passing yards per game. The Bills have surrendered three touchdowns through the air while collecting seven interceptions.  

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Against the Jets, Pickett threw three interceptions on 10-for-13 passing for 120 yards, though one of his interceptions was on a last-second Hail Mary. 

Kenny Pickett (8) of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium on Oct. 2, 2022, in Pittsburgh. 

Kenny Pickett (8) of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium on Oct. 2, 2022, in Pittsburgh. 
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

“We have no reservations about what Kenny is going to be capable of in terms of schematics,” Tomlin said. “Obviously, we have a level of concern about the environment we’re taking them into, but you have a level of concern about any quarterback that you take to that environment versus that defense and that venue.

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“Kenny has shown us maturity at every point throughout this process. He’s older than most rookies, and that was obviously discussed 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 had the opportunity to do so.”

Source: Fox News

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