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Steelers Daily News & Links: Pickett One of NFL’s Worst, Fields Trade Projection



Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett against the Buffalo Bills, Jan. 15, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Steelers Daily News & Links: Your daily stop for all of the news and links from the Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL and around the Sports Now Group.

🏈 Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus believes the Pittsburgh Steelers can land Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields with a second-round pick in 2024 and fifth-round pick in 2025.

“Pittsburgh is one team looking for a legitimate competition at quarterback this offseason, with 2022 first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett not making the strides they’d hoped through two years, getting supplanted late in the season by third-stringer Mason Rudolph. Fields’ elite athleticism adds an entirely different dynamic to a Steelers offense that was quite stale in 2023, and he opens up the downfield passing game that has been lacking,” Spielberger wrote.

“Over the past two seasons, Fields has 15 touchdowns to six interceptions on passes targeted 20-plus yards downfield, whereas Pickett has six and eight, respectively. Fields has a higher passing grade, a nearly doubled passer rating and a lower turnover-worthy play rate on such passes. From Fields’ perspective, he gets to play with a legitimate duo at wide receiver in George Pickens and Diontae Johnson.”

🏈 ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid also thinks Justin Fields would be an ideal fit in Pittsburgh.

“We’ll have more clarity after the combine, but always thought PIT was a sleeper destination for Fields,” Reid wrote on X. “You can’t go into next season with Pickett/Rudolph at the top of your depth chart. Arthur Smith’s scheme aligns well with Fields’ strengths.”

“Arthur Smith’s scheme centers around 12 personnel (2 TEs) and the power run game,” Reid continued. “PIT already has Freiermuth/Washington/Heyward. Fields’ added dimension as a threat in the QB run game opens up a lot of possibilities with the passing game and building concepts off of playaction.”

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🏈 Chuks Okorafor posted, “Thank You, Gods Plan” on Instagram following his release from the Steelers.

🏈 Derrik Klassen of the 33rd Team ranked Kenny Pickett as the 31st best quarterback in the NFL.

“The Steelers were sold a bill of goods that Kenny Pickett would be their version of (Joe) Burrow. That simply has not come to be,” Klassen wrote. “At this stage, Pickett remains frenetic in the pocket and undisciplined in how he reads the field. Throws over the middle are completely absent from his game, and it’s clear he is only comfortable throwing quick game and vertical shots down the sideline. That’s not nearly enough of a formula to make for a good quarterback, considering his decision-making and iffy accuracy.”

🏈 The Steelers’ odds to win Super Bowl 59 are 100-1, per FanDuel. Those are the worst preseason Steelers’ Super Bowl odds since Pro Football Reference started tracking that stat back in 1992.

🏈 San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk’s wife, Kristin, made headlines when Taylor Swift strode into Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 13, wearing a red puffer jacket that Juszczyk made for her.” It Kristin Juszczyk on the map and got her a license with the NFL.

Mike Tomlin’s wife, Kiya, who’s also a fashion designer and has a license with the NFL, posted a short video on TikTok a few weeks ago stating that she’s “been here, been doing that.”

“Kiya Tomlin here,” she started. “Wife of 27 years to Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. So all this talk about where is all the really cool licensed NFL apparel for women. I just have to say: Been here, been doing that.”

“After seeing all the commotion about Taylor Swift,” Tomlin said in an interview with USA TODAY Sports, “I just wanted to say, ‘I’m here. I’ve been doing this. Here’s my work.'”

Tomlin says some of why her story isn’t as well known is because she wanted to be independent and not use her last name to promote her work.

“I’ve stayed a little off the radar because when I was building the business, I wanted to make clear that this is what I do, not what Mike does,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be on my own.”

Tomlin said it took her several years to get the NFL license and when she did it “opened the door to a small, Black-owned business like mine, and has really helped me grow.”

🏈 Former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got blasted by Rick Harrison of Pawn Stars. With the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, NBC Sports Bay Area talked to Harrison from the famous History Channel show about the ugliest ring in Super Bowl history.

“The Steelers won a Super Bowl ring and they had Roethlisberger help design the ring, it’s probably the ugliest one,” Harrison said laughing, via 93.7 The Fan. “If you play football stick to that, find out what you’re not good at in this world and don’t do that.” The ring that Harrison must be referring to is the Super Bowl XL ring that Big Ben reportedly helped design with Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis.

🏈 Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s Get Up ranked his greatest NFL dynasties. He had the 1970s Steelers ranked second, behind only the Green Bay Packers of the 1960s. The full list was 1. Green Bay Packers (1960s), 2. Pittsburgh Steelers (1970s), 3. San Francisco 49ers (1980s), 4. The Kansas City Chiefs (2019-23), 5. New England Patriots (2014-18).

🏈 NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger loves it when Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward goes up against a rookie.

“I love when Cam goes up against a rookie, because the rookie is gonna get broken in,” Baldinger said on Heyward’s Not Just Football podcast. “He’s going to give him his long arm, he’s going to stick that long arm there and walk him right back in the lap if he doesn’t swim him on the way to take that quarterback down.”

🎂 Happy Birthday to former Steelers quarterback Anthony Wright, born on February 14, 1978 in Vanceboro, North Carolina. Wright signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina in 1999. He made such a good impression in preseason that he was kept on as the fourth-string quarterback, behind Kordell Stewart, Mike Tomczak, and Pete Gonzalez.

On August 27, 2000, he was waived after being passed on the depth chart by rookie Tee Martin. Wright moved on and had stints with the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants. He started 19 career games, five with Dallas and 14 with Baltimore. He won a Super Bowl with the Giants as a backup in 2007.

🎥 Steel City Star shared a video of a celebration at a bar in Lawrenceville following the Steelers’ Super Bowl XIII victory over the Dallas Cowboys in 1979.



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