Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Sunday benched Mitch Trubisky in favor of rookie Kenny Pickett, and his reason for doing so was very straightforward.
After the Steelers’ 24-20 loss to the New York Jets, Tomlin told reporters that he put Pickett in to start the second half because he was trying to give his team a “spark.”
“I thought we needed a spark, man,” Tomlin said, via Michael Baca of NFL.com. “We didn’t do much in the first half, not enough offensively, and I thought he could provide a spark for us.”
Tomlin added that his decision to bench Trubisky on Sunday does not necessarily mean the veteran has lost his starting job going forward.
“We’ll deal with next week next week,” Tomlin said.
Trubisky went 7-for-13 for 84 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in the first half on Sunday. He has just two touchdowns compared to two interceptions on the season.
Pickett was no better against the Jets. He threw three interceptions in the second half, though perhaps Tomlin will give him the benefit of the doubt since he came on halfway through the game.
The Steelers are now 1-3 on the season. Trubisky has looked quite similar to the player he was with the Chicago Bears, which is not a good sign for his current team. If nothing else, Pickett probably gives the team more upside.