Ben Roethlisberger comes with an opinion on who ought to be his heir apparent because the Pittsburgh Steelersstarting quarterback. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has yet to announce a starting quarterback for the Steelers’ season-opener contrary to the Bengals, however the expectation is that Mitchell Trubisky are certain to get the starting nod over rookie Kenny Pickett.
Roethlisberger, who retired this offseason following an 18-year career that included two Super Bowl wins and almost every franchise passing record, feels that Pittsburgh’s veteran quarterback should start on the rookie once the Steelers face Cincinnati on Sunday.
“For me, I believe Mitchell Trubisky may be the starter,” Roethlisberger said on his new podcast. “He should start. He’s a veteran, he’s been with us for some time, he offers you, for me, the best possiblity to win at this time.”
While he feels Trubisky ought to be the starter, Roethlisberger was impressed with Kenny Pickett’s performance through the preseason. The 3rd quarterback on the depth chart in the beginning of training camp, Pickett gradually saw his reps with the Steelers’ first-team offense grow through the entire summer. He threw three touchdowns no interceptions while completing over 80% of his passes through the preseason.
“Kenny did an excellent job,” Roethlisberger said. “From what I’ve observed in the preseason, you wouldn’t end up like, ‘Oh man, he’s a rookie. He’s got some learning curves.’ … I believe he’s done an excellent job.”
Roethlisberger feels that Pickett should mimic what Big Ben did in the beginning of his rookie season, when he started the 2004 season behind veteran Tommy Maddox. Maddox started the Steelers’ first two games before a personal injury thrust Roethlisberger in to the starting lineup. Roethlisberger continued a tear while setting a rookie record by winning his first 15 regular season starts.
“I’d say this about virtually all rookie quarterbacks, it benefits one to sit behind a veteran for a small amount of time,” Roethlisberger said. “And I believe Mitch is a superb leader, an excellent football player, he’s an excellent athlete, he’s an excellent quarterback. The brought him in here for grounds, and I believe he’ll mentor Kenny and I believe he’ll really help Kenny a whole lot. But in my estimation, it must be Mitch’s job for the moment. If Mitch plays well, keep him within. And also if Mitch includes a bad game or something, it generally does not mean [to] just yank him.”
Roethlisberger, who has spoken with both Trubisky and Pickett since joining the Steelers, wants Steelers fans to provide Trubisky a good shake should Tomlin anoint him as Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback to begin the 2022 season.
“Folks are so excited for Kenny, that they ought to be. He played at Pitt, they’re super excited for him,” Roethlisberger said. “I simply hope the fans, the very first time Mitch doesn’t play well, they don’t really start booing him or yank him or take action like that. … It’ll be interesting to see, but I really do, for me, believe that it’s Mitch’s job. He hasn’t done anything to reduce the work. He’s played sufficiently to function as starter. But ultimately it will likely be Coach T’s decision.”