Ben Roethlisberger Didn’t Root For Kenny Pickett to Succeed Early
Ben Roethlisberger revealed on his latest Footbahlin podcast that he had a hard time adjusting to seeing Kenny Pickett as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback, a title Roethlisberger held for 18 years. Roethlisberger surprisingly admitted that it bothered him so much that he actually rooted against Pickett early on. Roethlisberger said that it was selfish off him, but that’s how he truly felt at first.
“I’m gonna be super transparent here. I’m gonna get blasted, I probably shouldn’t say this, but who cares at this point,” Roethlisberger said, who had Pickett on as a guest. “I wouldn’t say that I wanted Kenny to necessarily fail, but like when someone comes to replace you and you still feel like you had it. I hope he doesn’t come ball out because then it’s like ‘Ben who?'”
Roethlisberger said as the season went on he found himself rooting more and more for Pickett and his vanity started to fade away.
“Early on, I didn’t want him to succeed because he was following me up. I didn’t want it to happen,” Roethlisberger admitted. “That’s probably the selfishness of me and I feel bad for it, but as the season went on and it got to his third game playing, I was rooting for him. I was excited for you and I wanted you to succeed, I wanted you to win games, I wanted you to get to the playoffs. I feel bad that I felt that early on but I’m glad that I transitioned to the love of rooting for you.”
Roethlisberger previously admitted on his podcast that he “severely underestimated” Pickett as a quarterback.
“I severely, in my opinion, underestimated Kenny,” Roethlisberger said in January. “I think he throws the ball better than I thought. He runs way better than I thought. I don’t know if he’s faster or just more elusive, but he runs the ball way better than I expected. His decision-making is really, really good. His leadership, his toughness. Just enough of an edge to him it looks like. So, I apologize, not that I made this like vocal to anybody else, but in my own head. What I was saying, Kenny keep doing what you are doing, because you are leading this team and becoming the guy that I think everyone was hoping you would be. I think the sky’s the limit for him really.”
Roethlisberger apologized to Pickett that he was wrong in his initial evaluation of him.
“I was pleasantly surprised. I am glad that I was wrong in the sense of where I had you. I think you’re the future of this team, I really do,” Roethlisberger said. … “It’s been fun watching you. I enjoy texting you after games. It’s been fun watching you, man. I am a fan.”