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ESPN Analyst Rips Kenny Pickett for Not Wanting to Compete



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Many in Pittsburgh and across Steelers Nation view Kenny Pickett quite differently now than they did two years ago when he was selected by the Steelers at 20th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

For one, Pickett never panned out on the field, posting a 13-13 touchdown-interception ratio and 78.8 passer rating. There were also durability issues. He clearly wasn’t the second coming of Dan Marino.

But, the thing that surprised fans was Pickett’s entitled attitude. He was labeled as this ultimate competitor and team-first guy, but that obviously wasn’t the case. First came the reports that he refused to dress as the team’s third quarterback in Seattle last season. Pickett still denies it.

And then came the Russell Wilson signing. That’s when things came to screeching halt. Pickett complained about the move and requested a trade. The Steelers agreed and shipped the disgruntled Pickett to the cross-state Philadelphia Eagles.

Many have blasted Pickett over the last few days for his petulant behavior. For example, former Steelers wide receiver Nate Washington called Pickett a transfer portal baby for saying he felt it was time to move on from Pittsburgh and go somewhere he could grow his career.

But the most brutal critique came from former NFL offensive lineman and current ESPN analyst Damien Woody. He absolutely unleashed on Pickett.

“You didn’t want to compete with Russell Wilson,” Woody said about Pickett on ESPN’s Get Up. “Russell Wilson went from the Seahawks to the Broncos and now to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a matter of a few years? And you’re running away from competition? That tells me more about you than anything. So the Pittsburgh Steelers are probably looking at the situation like, ‘Good, I’m glad you expressed that to us because now we can move on to guys who not only want to be here, but want to compete and upgrade our quarterback room.’”

In his introductory press conference with the Eagles, Pickett revealed what happened in his departure from Pittsburgh, and he feels like he handled the situation the right way.

“I think the communication is what it is. It was behind closed doors. I’m confident with the way I handled it,” Pickett said.

Ultimately, Pickett feels like it was just time for a fresh start after playing seven years in the city of Pittsburgh, accounting for his Pitt tenure. He’ll now get the chance to play for the franchise that he grew up rooting for in Ocean Township, New Jersey.

“I just thought it was time. It just felt like it was time from things that transpired,” Pickett said. “Wanted to get a chance to go somewhere else and continue to grow my career. The fact that it’s in Philly, the place that I found the love for the game. A great coaching staff, great players. Looking forward to meeting these guys in a couple weeks when everyone gets back in town. I think it’s an awesome opportunity to join this team.”