A quarterback controversy seems to be brewing in Pittsburgh.
Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky was booed during Sunday’s home opener, which ended in a 17-14 loss to the Patriots.
At one point during the game, Acrisure Stadium roared with chants from fans to bring in rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett — the Pittsburgh product that drafted the Steelers number 20 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — who spent his entire 18-year career in Pittsburgh and won two Super Bowls — said he thought Trubisky’s treatment was unfair.
“When [the Steelers] lined up Kenny, maybe more than half [of] the city [of Pittsburgh] wanted him to start right away, even before he played a down, just because he’s a Pitt kid,” Roethlisberger said on the “Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger” podcast.
‘Mitch is coming from Chicago with some luggage and some stuff, but I thought give the man a chance. We said, ‘If he doesn’t play well, they’ll be boo-birds, ‘Kenny, Kenny,’ and today we heard it and they started singing ‘Kenny.’
Earlier this month, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced that Trubisky would be the team’s starting quarterback and captain after beating Pickett for the job.
“They started singing ‘Kenny,’ and I just don’t think it’s fair that it happened to Mitch today because I wouldn’t blame Mitch for today’s performance,” Roethlisberger said.
“Did he miss a few throws? Yes. I just saw [Packers quarterback] Aaron Rodgers misses a pitch and he is one of the best ever. It’s going to happen.”
Roethlisberger added that he does not believe Trubisky played his worst game on Sunday.
“I don’t think he deserved the fans coming at him today because sometimes you play within the system, and I’m not trying to say it’s on [offensive coordinator] Neither does Matt Canada,” he said.
Trubisky finished the game with 168 passing yards and one touchdown, with one interception.
After the match, Trubisky was asked about the audience singing for Pickett.
“It is what it is,” he said. “You just block it and keep playing football.”
The Steelers will face the Browns in Cleveland on Thursday.
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