Considering how the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense worked Sunday, it’s no surprise that the home crowd repeatedly called for Kenny Pickett to replace starter Mitch Trubisky during the team’s 17-14 loss to the New England Patriots.
Steelers fans chanted “KEN-NY” for the first time in the third quarter — after a failed third down conversion that saw Trubisky find rookie trailing Jaylen Warren in third and eighth without a win. Chris Boswell converted the 52-yard field goal attempt to take the Steelers to four points, 10-6.
The “KEN-NY” chants boiled up several times after that, so it’s no surprise Trubisky was asked about it at the end of his post-game press conference.
“It is what it is. You just keep blocking it and playing football,” he said after completing 21 of 33 passes for 168 yards with one touchdown and one interception, averaging just 5.1 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 73.8 The Steelers didn’t get off to a great start on the ground either, rushing for 91 yards 22 times together — an average of 4.1 yards per carry.
Before commenting on the crowd calling out for Pickett, Trubisky spoke at length about what transpired during the game and appeared to make a call himself – for patience.
“As we walk, we just keep finding (our) identity. We’re still young, we still harmonize as a unit,” he said, admitting that “we had enough opportunities out there, we just didn’t make it.”
In fact, Pittsburgh’s offense has only had two touchdowns in more than eight quarters of football so far this season, and the defense has played well enough to beat the Patriots.
That, plus the fact that rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett put in an admirable performance last season, means fans won’t have to exercise much patience unless the team’s offense looks much better four days into the Steelers Visit Cleveland for an AFC North showdown against the Browns. Especially since many NFL observers – including Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw – have already stated that Pickett should have been the starter from the start.
There’s also a chance Pittsburgh’s offensive players will get frustrated as well. In fact, that’s a word running back Najee Harris used during his post-game media availability. The issue of frustration is one that Trubisky also addressed:
“All you have to do is tell people to get involved – shop in, be patient and focus on their job. That’s what you have to do as a leader, just keep the guys on track and if everyone just does their job then we’re going to be a lot better as an offense.
Of course, a lot of problems get solved when the offense starts getting a few more touchdowns.
“The bottom line is that we need to get more points,” concluded Trubisky. “But (today) just felt like missed opportunities, by me and offense. And there is a lot that we can improve. We need to look at that and flush it real quick because we have another game on Thursday.