How long can the Steelers push QB Kenny Pickett through this slump?

Kenny Pickett isn’t playing well and the offense is suffering.

Look, I get it. It is really easy to blame all the offensive woes of the Pittsburgh Steelers on offensive coordinator Matt Canada. His culpability in this fiasco is undeniable. However, we cannot lay all of this at his feet without acknowledging the role quarterback Kenny Pickett is playing in all this.

Through two games, Pickett is not playing like the quarterback we saw in the second half of the 2022 season. Not like the quarterback who was perfect in the 2023 preseason and not like the quarterback the Steelers drafted. He looks far more like the quarterback from the first half of the 2022 season when Pickett couldn’t hit water if jumped into the ocean.

Meanwhile, the Steelers defense is stepping up. Last week, despite some struggles against the run, we saw the tandem of Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt dominate the pass rush.

But this isn’t sustainable week after week and unless the offense can start to pull its weight, does head coach Mike Tomlin owe it to the defense to make a change at quarterback in hopes of sparking the offense?

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Purdy Perfect, Kenny Pickett … not so much

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Kenny Pickett struggled mightily in their 2023 regular season opener versus the San Francisco 49ers.

There was a lot of talk surrounding Kenny Pickett‘s perfect preseason. Perhaps too much. No one expected it to follow him into the 2023 regular season opener versus the San Francisco 49ers. But no one (except the haters) expected him to perform as poorly as he did, either.

The Niners are tough — their Super Bowl-caliber ways didn’t budge during the offseason, and they appear to be continuing that trajectory. Concerns about how quarterback Brock Purdy would bounce back from the late-season elbow injury were erased from the first snap.

Pickett never found a rhythm, which showed in the final numbers: 31-of-46, 232 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and five sacks. Social media had a field day with him early and often. His offensive line, which was expected to be improved from last season, wasn’t.

The struggles weren’t just Pickett’s. T.J. Watt tying James Harrison’s franchise sack record (80.5) aside, both sides of the ball seemed to be walking through cement for all four quarters. As said umpteen times by the FOX broadcasters, the 49ers are really, really good. But the Steelers looked really, really bad.

Pickett needs to dissect film, learn from his mistakes and proceed to completely erase the game and his ugly performance . Look forward, not back.

If you’re mentally weak, this game will eat you alive,” Pickett said on a recent Steel Here podcast. “I feel like I’m in a good place mentally, and I’m excited to get going.”

Hopefully, that attitude remains.

But if this is a sign of things to come in 2023, it will be a long season. It’s time to shake off that rust and regroup as Pittsburgh heads into Week 2 on a consecutive national game on the Monday Night Football stage against the rival (1-0) Cleveland Browns. They cannot afford to start the season 0-2.

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Kenny Pickett hilariously confuses legendary Tomlinsim

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett revealed some of his favorite Mike Tomlin sayings, affectionately called Tomlinisms.

Mike Tomlin has some of the best one-liners of any coach in the NFL. So much so that they’ve been dubbed Tomlinisms, and there’s a Reddit subreddit dedicated to tracking them.

On a recent episode of the Steel Here podcast, Kenny Pickett explained how, as a rookie, he confused one of Tomlin’s most prominent mantras.

“He used to say ‘the nameless gray faces’ and me and Mason Cole, when we
first got here, thought he meant nameless great faces,” Pickett said. “Then like we’re at lunch, and someone was like no like he means gray faces, and that was one that me and him were like oh like we had no idea.”
One Tomlinism, “Don’t get caught up in the minutia,” Pickett had to look up the definition for.
“I guess that’s like details, like small stuff. I didn’t know that one for a while, I just kind of like let it roll,” he said. “One day I was in the team meeting and after I looked it up on Google, what does miniutia mean because sometimes you’ve got to do some research with coach you’re gonna miss some stuff. He’s always bringing new material man he keeps you on your toes.”
The man himself shared his favorite in an August episode of Grillin’ n’ Chillin’. “Don’t seek comfort.”
Of course!
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Check out Kenny Pickett’s 5 all-time favorite Steelers

Quarterback Kenny Pickett was asked to name his top favorite Pittsburgh Steelers of all-time.

All-time favorite Pittsburgh Steelers is an oft-discussed topic. The team is one of the greatest franchises in all of sports, not just the NFL, and the number of unforgettable players is vast.

On a recent episode of the Steel Here podcast in which Kenny Pickett was the guest of honor, he was asked to name his all-time faves.

Your favorites might be different — his age is reflected in his choices — but it’s hard to argue with Pickett’s. Definite legends right here.


Kenny Pickett on playing QB: ‘If you’re mentally weak, this game will eat you alive’

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett knows all about the hate on social media and credits the position for helping him look past it.

Professional football is an immensely competitive sport in a man’s league. It’s highly physical — getting clobbered play-to-play — but it’s equally taxing from a mental aspect.

Few positions know this better than the quarterback. Essentially, 11 players want to take you to the turf, and when you are, it’s an R-rated movie in the pile.

When Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett was asked about the trash talk he gets off the field — via social media — he credited the position for helping him look past it.

“I’ve been called every name under the sun in this game,” Picket said on the Steel Here podcast. “I’ll still go out there feeling I’m the best on Sundays. I’ve been playing for a while now, and you know, having a good career in college and now getting my NFL career started. It comes with the position, comes with the territory. If you’re mentally weak, this game will eat you alive. I feel like I’m in a good place mentally, and I’m excited to get going.”

Pickett definitely gets plenty of hate. Even so-called Steelers fans want to see him fail or don’t believe he can take Pittsburgh to the Promised Land.

It’s still too early to tell whether he’s their franchise guy, but he certainly has the look of one. He oozes poise and confidence, with talent to boot. His rookie season started on a rocky note, but turned things around post-bye, helping his crew to a 7-2 record to finish the season, narrowly missing the playoffs. “Easy” schedule or not, the Steelers still had to win, and they did, even with an 18-point per-game average.

Now, with 13 games of experience under his belt, a full offseason as QB1, and what looks to be an improved offense and line, there’s no reason why the Steelers can’t be a contender within the division and win some playoff games. Steelers Wire predicts a 13-4 record in 2023.

If Pickett pulls it off, haters can’t hate.

Steelers’ Kenny Pickett did something no NFL QB had achieved in 25 years

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett hit an NFL preseason mark that hadn’t been touched in 25 years.

Preseason-shmeseason. While games and their final results don’t mean squat, it’s hard not to be excited and impressed with what the Pittsburgh Steelers rolled out in the three-game span.

As was the result in 2022, the Steelers wrapped an undefeated preseason. But this year, the highlight was undoubtedly the play of second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett, who opens the season as QB1 for the first time since being drafted 20th overall in 2022.

Though it was a small sample size — Pickett only played five drives — he scored touchdowns on two of them. As a team, each drive ended in the end zone.

Overall, Pickett went 13-of-15 for 199 yards — a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Per ESPN’s NFL Live, he’s the first quarterback in the last 25 years to do so.

This is precisely what Steelers fans hoped to see from Pickett (and his offensive line), and he answered. Now he has a wave to ride into the regular season, which opens September 10 at Acrisure Stadium versus the highly-touted San Fransisco 49ers.

Lifelong Steelers fan and University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari credits Mike Tomlin with Pickett’s preseason prowess.

“I love the guy because he’s a player’s coach, but he holds them accountable,” said Calipari. “The biggest thing he does is he builds confidence because they’re going to struggle some, and he’ll keep that ship straight.

“The exact right coach for Kenny Pickett is Mike Tomlin. Mike’s gonna build him up. I think Kenny could be the breakout player. He could be that guy, and I think Mike will help him, and that will be the goal.”

Not only are fans hyped about Pickett’s potential this season, but the media is, too. Many predict him to have a breakout season, including Good Morning Football’s Peter Schrager, who has him atop his annual 2023 breakout players list.

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Kenny Pickett Funko Pop released to celebrate start of NFL season

Be the first to own this exclusive Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers Funko Pop.

One of the NFL’s most promising young QBs is getting the Funko Pop treatment.

Fanatics is releasing exclusive Funko Pops for a handful of NFL stars, and Kenny Pickett is one of the lucky few.

Kenny Pickett Funko Pop
Kenny Pickett Funko Pop (Fanatics)

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In addition to Pickett, Fanatics’ first batch of Exclusive NFL Funkos also includes WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Devonta Smith, CB Ahmad Sauce Gardner and WR Justin Jefferson.

Pickett went 7-5 as a starter during his rookie campaign, and after a terrific preseason it appears the 25-year-old QB might be ready to put up even better numbers during his sophomore season.

Kenny Pickett Funko Pop
Kenny Pickett Funko Pop (Fanatics)

Check back before the regular season for the launch of more NFL Funkos, and until then you can view the entire NFL Funko Pop collection at Fanatics.

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Steelers QB Kenny Pickett highest-graded quarterback in preseason

Kenny Pickett appears to have total control of theSteelers offense in his second season.

The preseason was a real eye-opener for anyone who wondered if Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is good enough to compete with the top quarterbacks in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Pickett’s 94.7 grade was the highest of any quarterback in the preseason.

Pickett played five offensive series in the preseason. All five of those series ended with a Steelers touchdown. And they were not the plodding, methodical drives fans have come to expect from a Steelers offense. Pickett showed incredible poise and was fearless about taking shots downfield.

Pickett’s numbers in the preseason are remarkable. Here is how they break down:

  • 158.3 Quarterback Rating
  • 13-of-15 Passing
  • 199 Passing Yards
  • 2 Touchdowns
  • 86.6 Completion Percentage
  • 13.2 Yards Per Attempt

Last season, Pickett only averaged 184.9 passing yards per game. If the preseason is any indication, Pickett could blow any projections about him out of the water as the Steelers return to being a contender in the crowded AFC.

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Colin Cowherd on Steelers QB Kenny Pickett: ‘I don’t see greatness’

There’s no doubt the Steelers fate is in the completely normal sized hands of Kenny Pickett.

Let’s just jot this one down for later on in the season.

Sports personality Colin Cowherd had thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers and as we’ve seen in the past, Cowherd never holds back when it comes to Pittsburgh, whether it is good or bad.

In the video below, Cowherd says a lot of things I agree with. Talking about the history of the franchise, the consistency and why the team won Super Bowls. I also absolutely agree that the Steelers have done everything right this offseason and it is all going to come down to quarterback Kenny Pickett.

The Cowherd said the words that would be sure to trigger all of Steeler Nation.  When speaking of Pickett, Cowherd simply said, “I don’t see greatness.”

Does Pickett need to be great for the Steelers to win a Super Bowl? Probably. Will he be great in 2023? That remains to be seen. But if he is, will Cowherd own this one?

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Ranking all 32 starting quarterbacks — Where does Kenny Pickett rank?

Here are our ranking of all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks.

2022 was a huge year of transition for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The retirement of Ben Roethlisberger left a hole in the roster the size of Canton and it was up to then-rookie Kenny Pickett to try and be the guy to follow the guy.

Pickett showed some promise but where does he rank among the rest of the starting quarterbacks in the NFL? Here are our rankings.