The start to the post-Ben Roethlisberger era in Pittsburgh has been more complicated than predicted. Though Mike Tomlin initially gave the Steelers' reins to Mitchell Trubisky, it took only three games and a half for him to bench him in favor of Kenny Pickett.
The rookie quarterback came on at the start of the second half of the Week 4 game against the Jets, making an impact with two rushing touchdowns. However, Pickett eventually threw three costly interceptions as his team fell to a 1-3 record.
The Steelers now look ready to move forward with Pickett, but Sunday's loss left many concerned. Big Ben has once again taken to his podcast to weigh in on the team's situation, sharing advice both for the coaching staff and Pickett.
Ben Roethlisberger's tip to Keny Pickett, Steelers
"I think he's beating himself up a little bit on the (second) interception," Roethlisberger said on the latest episode of his podcast, via Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports. "He texted me saying, 'I've got throw that one away.' I'm like, 'Listen, you're talking to the guy that rarely threw a ball away. So just go play with confidence.'
"He drifted a little bit, which I thought he did a good job getting away from the pressure. And he even said, 'I kind of tried to throw it out there to Pat ... I probably should have thrown it away.' Of course it's easy to say that now, but if he completes it, you'd be saying that it was a great play. We've all had those. ... But at the end of the day, if he plays this game for a long time, he's going to have more opportunities to go both directions. To throw it away, or to complete that ball."
Big Ben not only believes that Pickett should trust his gut and go for it, but he also thinks the play-calling should favor the young signal-caller. For him, the team should lean on the passing game.
"You can't be a predictable offense," Roethlisberger said. "I'm not saying that they are, but if feels like what I'm hearing from guys is we've got to do something different. I'd like to see them drop back and pass a little more. ... Let's throw on first, second and third down. Let's see what happens, or throw four or five in a row. As a quarterback, you want to get into a rhythm. Whether that's a three-yard down or (something down the field)."