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Cam Heyward Thinks Kenny Pickett Needs Competition



Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 23, 2023 -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro defensive tackle Cam Heyward recently joined Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr. on the DraftKings’ Gojo And Golic podcast for an in-depth conversation on winning NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, podcasting, Kenny Pickett, and the state of the Steelers.

In regards to the Steelers’ quarterback situation, which has been a hot topic as of late, Heyward thinks there has to be competition at the games most important position. Pickett can’t just be handed the starting role.

“You know, I think both can be, you know, beneficial to us. Whether it’s Kenny, (Pickett) us having support behind him, and then, you know, I think competition breeds greatness. … At every position, you got to have competition. That’s how you get better. That’s how guys get pushed. Even when Ben Roethlisberger first got here, it wasn’t like he started right away, he had to earn the position,” Heyward said when asked if Pickett would be the starter or someone else in 2024. “That competition we got to have a little bit, especially after last year. You know, I thought Mason Rudolph did a pretty good job coming in the last four games and really showing that competition. Whether they bring him (Rudolph) back or not, there has to be competition in that quarterback room.”

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reiterated on the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday that the Steelers want a Pickett-Rudolph competition at quarterback. He thinks Pittsburgh doesn’t have any interest in signing an external veteran quarterback with a desire to start.

“Last week in Indianapolis, one of the things I picked up from talking with people, this isn’t some bit from the Steelers and this fits with how they are,” Florio said. “They don’t go out and make a big splash in free agency. They try to groom the guys they have.”

Florio mentioned that the Steelers gave Terry Bradshaw five years to figure out how to play quarterback in the NFL and it worked. It’s just a part of the organization’s philosophy to be patient. But, there’s no doubt about it, this is a make-or-break year for Pickett. He has to show major strides in his development in Year 3.