When Ben Roethlisberger announced he would retire from the NFL last season, everyone knew his successor would have big shoes to fill. When the Steelers traded for Mitchell Trubisky, many doubted he was the right guy for the job.
For some time, Mike Tomlin refused to confirm who would be the starter in the post-Big Ben era. The QB battle in Pittsburgh looked wide open with Trubisky, Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph all fighting for the starting role.
Eventually, the 2017 second overall pick had the upper hand. But it took only two weeks for fans to start booing Trubisky while chanting for Pickett, something that Roethlisberger didn’t seem to like that much.
Ben Roethlisberger feels Steelers fans’ booing of Mitchell Trubisky is unfair
"I just don't think it's fair," Roethlisberger said in his new podcast, via CBS Sports. "I wouldn't blame Mitch for the performance (on Sunday). 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. 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.
"I thought it was a little early, a little unfair to start booing. I think the boo birds were more for the offense in general. But I think, just the fact that they were starting to chant some Kenny stuff. ... I hate it for Mitchell because I just don't think it's fair yet. But that's just my opinion."
Mitchell Trubisky takes blame for Steelers’ loss to Patriots
Roethlisberger, however, admitted that the Steelers could have been more aggressive in their 13-7 home defeat to the Patriots – something that Trubisky also acknowledged.
“It’s there, and we had our opportunities,” Trubisky said, per Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I think earlier, I can take shots downfield. I think I can look for 14 more often, George. He’s doing a great job for us, and I just gotta get these playmakers the football. Whatever route they’re running, I just gotta get them the ball. It really comes down to me making better decisions, being aggressive and putting ourselves in that position.”
It's certainly not a great way to start for Trubisky, who has a point to prove to the rest of the league this season. The Steelers have an opportunity to bounce back on Thursday night against the Browns.