Connect with us

Steelers News

Kinkhabwala: Kenny Pickett Isn’t a Complete Bust



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Kenny Pickett’s tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers came to an abrupt end this offseason, as the first-round pick out of Pitt in 2022 wasn’t happy with the acquisition of Russell Wilson and requested a trade. The Steelers obliged and shipped him to the cross-state Philadelphia Eagles.

Things didn’t go smooth for Pickett on many levels during his two seasons as the Steelers quarterback. The most glaring problem was his inability to put the ball into the end zone. His 13 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 25 career games is the lowest touchdown percentage in NFL history (1.8%, minimum 500 pass attempts).

There is a major caveat to Pickett’s struggles, however. He was dealt an extremely bad hand with having Matt Canada as his offensive coordinator. Mike Tomlin’s decision to not only hire Canada to be the team’s offensive coordinator, but to bring him back after the 2022 season was a massive mistake.

The Steelers fired Canada after a Week 11 loss to the Cleveland Browns. But the damage was already done.

According to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, “multiple sources within the Steelers organization acknowledged” that Pickett “was placed in poor situations during his two years in Pittsburgh, and wasn’t given the adequate support required for a young quarterback.”

Aditi Kinkhabwala of CBS Sports thinks it’s too early to label Kenny Pickett as a complete bust.

“If you even knew half of what he was dealing with here. I’m not willing to say he’s a complete and total bust,” Kinkhabwala said on the Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show. “He was not the right fit. It was not the right thing here.”

At the NFL owner’s meetings in late March, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni discussed Kenny Pickett and what he would be asked to do with the team, which is purely a backup role to Jalen Hurts.

“I’m really excited about the things he can do. I’m excited that we have a piece in place there. But his job is to be the backup, and his job is to support Jalen and help him in any way that he can and be ready to play if he needs to play,” Sirianni said.

Tomlin didn’t give judgment on Pickett’s decision and said he wished him well moving forward. He indicated that the Steelers felt confident they’d be able to land Fields before they pulled the trigger on the trade that sent Pickett and two draft picks to Philadelphia for the No. 98th pick this year and two 2025 seventh-round picks.

During his introductory press conference with Philadelphia, Pickett revealed that he felt like he handled his departure from Pittsburgh 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, Kenny 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.