Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger believes fans should cut Mitch Trubisky some slack after the crowd at Acrisure Stadium broke out in chants for rookie Kenny Pickett during Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the New England Patriots.
In the latest episode of his podcast “Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger,” the two-time Super Bowl champion admitted Trubisky didn’t play some of his best football but added that Sunday’s loss wasn’t entirely on his shoulders.
“They started chanting ‘Kenny’ [and] I just don’t think it’s fair that it happened to Mitch today because I wouldn’t blame Mitch for the performance today. I don’t think he was bad – did he miss a couple throws? Yes, every quarterback does. I just saw Aaron Rodgers miss a throw and he’s one of the greatest to ever play. It’s going to happen sometimes.”
He continued: “Did he play his best game? No. Did he play his worst game? I don’t think so. I don’t think that he deserved the fans getting on him today, because sometimes you’re playing within the system. And I’m not trying to say that it’s on Matt Canada, either.”
Trubisky threw 168 passing yards for just one touchdown and an interception, but he was sacked three times. Pittsburgh managed just 243 yards of total offense.
The crowd eventually turned on him in the third quarter, shouting “Kenny! Kenny!”
After the game, Trubisky acknowledged the crowds’ calls for Pickett, saying, “It is what it is.”
But Roethlisberger seemed to think that calls to end Trubisky’s tenure as starting quarterback so early in the season are unjustified.
“I thought it was a little early, a little unfair to start booing or – I think the boo birds were more for the offense, in general. I think. But I think just the fact that they were starting to chant some Kenny stuff… I just hate it for Mitchell because I don’t think it’s fair yet.
Head coach Mike Tomlin refused to blame any one player for Sunday’s loss, saying “all of us are responsible for ringing up the scoreboard.”