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Louis Riddick Expects Kenny Pickett to Give Russell Wilson a Run for His Money



Kenny Pickett

While Russell Wilson is the odd-on favorite to beat Kenny Pickett in a quarterback competition this summer at Saint Vincent College, former Pitt safety and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick isn’t counting out Pickett. He thinks the former Pitt Panther is going to give Wilson a run for his money.

“It’s going to be about what happens at training camp and on the football field,” Riddick said on Sportscenter.  “Russ better start playing on time in this offense. … If you at Kenny Pickett late in the year, once Matt Canada was fired, they went into Cincinnati, and Kenny Pickett had the best game of his career. When they started pushing the football down the field, he was playing on time. Then he gets hurt, I think this is going to be a true, open competition. Pittsburgh’s just not the kind of organization that just throws in the towel on somebody like that. I’m not saying he’s going to win the job, maybe Russ does win it. … I think this will be an absolute firecracker of a competition.”

Given the fact that Wilson is a nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, many think that the Steelers will label it as a competition, but it’s actually a farce.

Former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson thinks Wilson vs. Pickett being labeled as a camp battle is laughable.

“Wait, hold on. A camp what? Johnson said on the Nightcap podcast with Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. “Child, please. That’s what that gets, whoever wrote that s***.”

Following Wilson’s late-night announcement that he’s heading to the Steel City, Adam Schefter broke down the Steelers’ quarterback situation on Sportscenter, and he made it clear that Wilson is not coming to Pittsburgh to backup Pickett and hold a clipboard.

“Pittsburgh made it clear that it was bringing in competition for Kenny Pickett. And I think Russell Wilson doesn’t go anywhere that he doesn’t think that he isn’t gonna be the starter. Now, he’s gonna have to go earn it and he’s gonna have to play well,” Schefter told Scott Van Pelt. “But Russell Wilson is ultra-confident in his abilities and what he will bring to that franchise. You’re talking about a guy with nine Pro Bowls, who has won a Super Bowl. I don’t think that he thinks he’s going to Pittsburgh to backup Kenny Pickett. But, certainly, Kenny Pickett will have the opportunity to play well this summer and we’ll see how that goes.”

Wilson reportedly had an “exploratory” meeting with the New York Giants, but Schefter said the Steelers’ offensive weapons and scheme attracted him to Pittsburgh. Schefter also noted that Wilson met with the Steelers for over six hours on Friday. He met with, amongst others, Mike Tomlin and Arthur Smith.

According to Broncos insider Benjamin Allbright, other teams expressed interest in Wilson, but Pittsburgh was always the front-runner because of offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

“While there were other teams interested in Russell Wilson, it was always going to be the Steelers. Internally, in Camp Russ there was a lot of good feeling about pairing Russ with Arthur Smith,” Allbright wrote on X.

Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report reported that Tomlin was a big reasonto why Russell Wilson agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Schultz stated that Tomlin and Wilson both connected on a level that spanned far beyond just football during the meeting.