The Steelers made the long-anticipated quarterback change Sunday, benching Mitch Trubisky at halftime in favor of rookie Kenny Pickett.
Kenny Pickett : Steelers | Stats | College | Grandfather
Kenneth Shane Pickett is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL).
|Born:||June 6, 1998
Ocean Township, New Jersey
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Ocean Township|
|NFL Draft:||2022 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20|
He played college football at the University of Pittsburgh, where he won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as a senior, and was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Various journalists scrutinized Pickett prior to the draft for the size of his hands, measured at 8½ inches, believing it could make him more prone to fumbling the ball.
Kenny Pickett Steelers
The Steelers made the long-anticipated quarterback change Sunday, benching Mitch Trubisky at halftime in favor of rookie Kenny Pickett at Acrisure Stadium. The result was a 24-20 loss to the New York Jets and a huge quarterback dilemma for coach Mike Tomlin.
Tomlin was noncommittal on his Week 5 starter, creating the potential for a permanent switch to Pickett, who sparked the Steelers (1-3) in the third quarter before throwing two interceptions in the final 3 minutes, 34 seconds of the game.
“I’m not going to talk extended as we sit here,” Tomlin said after his team blew a 20-10 lead in its second straight loss at home. “We did what we needed to do to put ourselves in position to win the game. We’ll do it again. But I’d like to just keep it where we were in terms of what transpire here today. We’ll deal with next week, next week.”
Tomlin said he made the switch because “we needed a spark. We didn’t do much in the first half, not enough offensively, and thought he could provide a spark for us.”
The Steelers trailed 10-6 at the half. During halftime, Tomlin approached Trubisky in the locker room and, according to the veteran quarterback, said simply, “Eight’s in.”
The 66,578 in attendance roared when Pickett entered the game with 13:53 remaining in the third quarter. The Steelers moved the ball to the Jets’ 49, but Pickett — on his first NFL pass — threw the first of three interceptions.
Kenny Pickett stats
Pickett made his NFL Debut in the second half of a Week 4 loss against the New York Jets after starter Mitchell Trubisky was benched.
He completed 10 of 13 passes for 120 yards and rushed for two touchdowns, but threw three interceptions in the 24–20 loss.
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 4, 2022|
On his first career pass attempt, Pickett threw a deep ball to Chase Claypool that bounced off his hands and was intercepted by Jordan Whitehead.
In his second drive, Pickett scrambled into the end zone for his first ever touchdown in his NFL career. On October 4, 2022, Pickett was named the starter by head coach Mike Tomlin.
In his first career start against the Buffalo Bills, Pickett completed 34 of 51 passes for 327 yards and an interception in the 38-3 loss.
Pickett spent most of his true freshman season at Pittsburgh in 2017 as a backup to Max Browne and Ben DiNucci.
He started his first career game in Pittsburgh’s final game of the season against the second ranked Miami Hurricanes.
During the team’s upset victory, he completed 18 of 29 passes for 193 yards with a touchdown and also rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns.
Overall, for the season he completed 39 of 66 passes for 509 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Pickett took advantage of his final year of eligibility and broke out as one of the nation’s top players. He recorded 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns setting school records for single season yards and touchdowns as well as career yards and touchdowns.
Pickett was named a first-team All-American and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy finishing in 3rd place.
Pittsburgh won the ACC Championship and finished 11–2 in games Pickett started, the school’s best record since 1976.
Kasey Pickett played soccer at Kutztown. Daughter Alex did the same at East Stroudsburg.
Naturally, Kasey’s son, Kenny, drifted toward the sport, too.
“Tried soccer,” he said. “Didn’t work out too well. I was a little too physical for soccer. We hung that up pretty early.”
Pickett was running over too many players on the soccer pitch, probably the first clue to where his athletic ability would lead him. After all, father, Ken, was a Hall of Fame linebacker at Shippensburg.
Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett played football, basketball and baseball at Ocean Township High School in Oakhurst, N.J., and was good at all three.
While today he stands on a 6-foot-3, 220-pound athletic frame, Pickett said, “I was the smallest kid growing up. I had a growth spurt late. You can ask anyone back home I’ve played with. I was always the shooter, wasn’t too much of a dunker. But, now I can throw some down.”
Nice, Kenny, but there’s just one problem: “I don’t think coach (Pat) Narduzzi wants me dunking,” he said.
The last news Narduzzi wants to hear is how his quarterback, who used to enjoy pickup basketball, banged his throwing hand against a rim.