The Pittsburgh Steelers came to terms on a contract extension with backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky on May 18. It’s possible no one is more happy about that than Steelers starting quarterback Kenny Pickett.
While appearing on the most recent episode of Footbahlin Podcast with Ben Roethlisberger, Pickett spoke highly of Trubisky and the relationship he has with the backup signal caller.
“Yeah, man, he was like an extra coach for me, honestly,” Pickett told Roethlisberger. “Being in the league for how long he has been in it, being able to ask him questions and be like, ‘Hey, where do you start with your eyes here? In your experience with this concept, how does this work for you? Do you like it, do you not like it?’
“When you’re starting to game plan, he knows other teams. He’s been around these defensive coordinators a decent amount of time. He was awesome, man.”
With Trubisky’s mentorship, Pickett posted a 7-5 record as a starter during his rookie season. Two of his final seven victories happened because of game-winning drives in the final minute of the fourth quarter with the Steelers trailing.
QB Kenny Pickett Loves Steelers QB Room
Pickett was the most complimentary of Trubisky, but he also sent some love to backup quarterback Mason Rudolph.
“Mason [was awesome] as well,” Pickett said. “Just having two guys that have been in it that are open to answering my questions and kind of be able to sound board off of, have been in my shoes and obviously have done it for a long time.
“I can’t thank those guys enough. Extremely grateful for the quarterback room that we have.”
Pickett said he’s also extremely thankful for quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan.
Behind that tutelage, Pickett improved each week, winning five of his last six starts. That lone loss was against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14 when he left after just 1 pass because of a concussion.
In Pickett’s final eight games, he threw just 1 interception in 224 pass attempts.
During the team’s coldest game of the year on Christmas Eve versus the Las Vegas Raiders, Pickett completed 66.7% of his passes, which was his second-highest completion percentage during the second half of the season.
In the season finale against the Cleveland Browns, he struggled with accuracy, but Pickett had 5 completions of more than 20 yards.
Steelers Extend Mitch Trubisky, Re-Sign Mason Rudolph
With how impactful Pickett says Trubisky and Rudolph were on his rookie season, it’s not surprising that the Steelers elected to bring back the same quarterback room.
First, the Steelers re-signed Rudolph on May 15. Then, general manager Omar Khan announced on The Pat McAfee Show on May 18 that the team was ‘finishing up’ an extension with Trubisky.
With the new contract, Trubisky is signed through the 2025 season.
Those signings help the Steelers in a lot of ways. Trubisky’s extension lowers his cap hit for the 2023 season. Re-signing Rudolph gives the Steelers quality, experienced quarterback depth, which can be invaluable in the NFL (ask the San Francisco 49ers).
But maybe most importantly, Pickett has his sounding board back for his first full season as an NFL starter.
Overall, Pickett recorded a 63% completion percentage with 7 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions in 13 appearances as a rookie. He averaged 6.2 yards per attempt.