Steelers’ Kenny Pickett Earns Brutal Critique 'Steelers Shouldn’t Have Married The First Fish They Saw' - Sport News

Steelers’ Kenny Pickett Earns Brutal Critique ‘Steelers Shouldn’t Have Married The First Fish They Saw’

The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently facing a lot of drama due to their quarterback situation. Although it is still early in the offseason, rumors are circulating that the Steelers may consider trading for a new quarterback.

Steelers’ Kenny Pickett Earns Brutal Critique 'Steelers Shouldn’t Have Married The First Fish They Saw'

In a scathing critique, Danny Heifetz, a prominent voice at The Ringer, has taken aim at Kenny Pickett’s initial tenure as the Steelers’ quarterback. Heifetz’s analysis delves deep into the team’s handling of Pickett, suggesting a troubling trend of the Steelers potentially failing to acknowledge any misjudgments regarding his performance and persisting with him despite red flags.

With a keen eye for NFL dynamics, Heifetz’s commentary underscores the perilous path the Steelers may be treading by stubbornly sticking to Pickett, despite his underwhelming early seasons. He raises poignant questions about the organization’s reluctance to reassess its quarterback strategy, cautioning against the dangers of clinging to a player who may not meet the franchise’s lofty expectations.

Heifetz’s critique serves as a wake-up call to the Steelers’ decision-makers, urging them to confront the possibility of misjudging Pickett’s potential and to consider alternative paths to fortify the team’s quarterback position. By shedding light on the risks associated with prolonged loyalty to underperforming talent, he prompts a vital conversation within Steelers’ circles about the imperative of adapting strategies for long-term success.

“The Steelers married the boy next door—literally. When Pickett was at the University of Pittsburgh, he shared a football practice facility with the Steelers. Pittsburgh is a famously loyal town, and it fell in love with the work ethic of the kid it already knew. But after a while, people grow apart. And when you compare this childhood crush to all the other fish in the sea, this looks less like a catch and more like one worth throwing back into the water.”

Heifetz has compared Pickett’s performance with other quarterbacks in the NFL, highlighting his shortcomings using his own evidence. He claims that Joe Flacco matched Pickett’s career touchdown count in just five games with the Cleveland Browns, while Tommy DeVito outperformed Pickett in multi-touchdown games in 2023 alone.

Furthermore, Pickett’s single 300+ yard passing game stands in stark contrast to Cincinnati Bengals backup Jake Browning’s three such performances in December. Pickett also ranks last among the 315 quarterbacks post-merger with 500+ pass attempts in terms of touchdown-to-throw ratio.

“There are a lot of fish in the sea—perhaps the Steelers shouldn’t have gotten married to the first fish they saw.”

Heifetz believes that the Steelers got into a marriage with Pickett too quickly and may have a hard time getting out of it. He suggests that there are many other quarterbacks available in the NFL, and the Steelers should not rush into their decision to pick Pickett in 2024.

In his two seasons as the Steelers quarterback, Pickett has completed 62.6% of his passes, throwing for 4,474 yards, passing for 13 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. While he has shown an ability to win games and perform well in critical moments, his overall production has raised legitimate concerns, as Heifetz points out.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Steelers made a significant move by selecting Pickett as their 20th overall pick. This decision carried a special weight as Pickett hailed from the same hometown, cementing a bond between player and team even before he stepped onto the field. However, this very loyalty that defines the Steelers has sometimes led to challenges in the past, as noted by Heifetz, urging caution to avoid potential pitfalls with Pickett.

Steelers Still Have More Questions Than Answers

While Pickett’s journey in the NFL is still unfolding, the Steelers have already seemingly made a commitment by designating him as their quarterback for the 2024 season. This decision comes on the heels of a turbulent 2023 season, during which Pickett faced injury setbacks, allowing Mason Rudolph to fill in admirably and guide the team to the playoffs. Yet, Rudolph’s future with the team remains uncertain as he approaches free agency. While the Steelers have expressed interest in retaining Rudolph, they acknowledge the unpredictability of free agency dynamics.

As the offseason unfolds, speculation abounds regarding Pickett’s potential and the Steelers’ quarterback situation. Will Pickett rise to the occasion and fulfill the franchise’s hopes, or will the Steelers explore other avenues, be it through trades or drafting another quarterback? For Steeler Nation, the anticipation of what lies ahead adds an extra layer of excitement to the offseason, underscoring the enduring passion for the team and the sport.

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