In a perfect world, the Pittsburgh Steelers would have put Kenny Pickett in a better position than he was on Sunday.
He wouldn’t have been put in a game with the team at 1-2, trailing at halftime, looking at a four-game schedule against teams that are currently 12-4.
But it’s far from a perfect world for the Steelers. In fact, it is decidedly flawed.
Hence their 24-20 loss to the lousy New York Jets.
So when the Steelers trailed 10-6 at halftime, Mike Tomlin felt he couldn’t wait any longer and replaced Mitch Trubisky with Pickett.
Even though Pickett wasn’t great, he had his moments. If Trubisky was just a placeholder for Pickett, then Trubisky gave way. Pickett has always been the quarterback of the future. And now the future is the present.
During this week’s “Madden Monday” podcast, Mark Madden of 105.9 The X and TribLIVE said that once a first-round quarterback steps into the game, there’s no turning back. .
More Steelers news
• Spreading grievances: Defensive disappearance, rushing interceptions undermine Kenny Pickett’s Steelers debut in loss to Jets
• Mitch Trubisky ‘disappointed’, didn’t expect to be benched as Steelers QB
• Kenny Pickett replaces Mitch Trubisky, but Jets join Steelers at end of TD
Although this quarterback’s first start will be in Buffalo against defending AFC East champion Bills. Followed by a visit from Tom Brady and the AFC South champion Tampa Buccaneers. Then road games against the Miami Dolphins 3-1 and the Philadelphia Eagles 4-0.
“You have to stick with Pickett now,” Madden said. “I said from the first moment that the minute Pickett comes in, he’s got to be the starter until he’s injured or until he proves, decisively, that he doesn’t. can’t do it. And it’s years away – to prove it for a No. 1 pick, 20th overall.
Madden said a domino effect came off Sunday’s move.
“Now the big debate is that Trubisky should be the third string quarterback and (Mason) Rudolph should be the backup. I have no idea why people want this or what it would mean. But that’s what I see,” Madden said.
The problem for the Steelers is that even though Pickett is doing well in his rookie year, there are a ton of other issues facing this team. Especially in defense.
And there’s no way for Pickett to help those issues.
“Unless (Pickett) can go both ways and also play defense, that’s certainly true. The Steelers had a 10-point lead, over a pretty bad team, in the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium, and they couldn’t hold it. Zach Wilson drove the Jets onto the field twice with – I don’t want to say minimal effort because he looked pretty good – but how hard was it? The Steelers defense offered only token resistance,” Madden said.
Also, in the podcast, Madden and I break down all the issues on the defensive side of the ball. We talk about the state of AFC North. We have issues with the Steelers’ receivers and offensive linemen. Plus, we break down the Penguins and Aaron Judge vs. Barry Bonds training camp cuts.
Listen: Tim Benz and Mark Madden talk about the Steelers
Tim Benz is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.