Steelers training camp: Kenny Pickett not having the start we hoped for

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The organization has high hopes for first-round quarterback, Kenny Pickett, but the results have been less than ideal early at Pittsburgh Steelers training camp. 

Don’t hit the panic button yet. We are just a few practices into Steelers training camp… but Kenny Pickett does not look good so far. Despite taking most of his reps against the third-team defense and primarily guys who won’t even make Pittsburgh’s final roster, the results have been cringe-worthy.

In his first practice on July 27th, Pickett underwhelmed — missing receivers down the field and showing spotty accuracy on intermediate throws. His very first NFL practice closed with him throwing an interception to undrafted defensive back, Carlins Platel, according to Bob Labriola’s practice report.

Pickett’s second practice went even worse. The Steelers kicked practice off in a torrential downpour and the weather conditions didn’t do the rookie quarterback any favors. This is where questions about his hand size come into play as he isn’t able to part with his gloves — even in the rain.

On day two of Steelers training camp practice, Pickett’s accuracy was all over the place. He underthrew multiple deep balls and chipped in another telegraphed interception during team sessions.

This is hardly the type of start you would hope to see from a first-round quarterback (and one who has five years of college experience under his belt, no less). Things are going to have to improve very soon for the 24-year-old rookie.

Pickett must improve, but still isn’t far behind Steelers QB competition

Had there been a more competent passer in place, Kenny Pickett would be left in the dust in no time at this rate. Fortunately for him, the other quarterbacks haven’t been much better. Based on the practice reports and everything I’ve gathered, Mason Rudolph has actually been the best of the group through the first two days. However, that’s obviously subject to opinion and could change soon.

Mitch Trubisky, meanwhile, threw two interceptions during Thursday’s practice and hasn’t done anything to elevate himself above the rest of this group. Trubisky has been projected all along to be the starting quarterback for the Steelers to begin the season.

There are still sixteen training camp practices left, and lots of time for this QB competition to sort itself out. However, knowing that Pickett was drafted to be the future, fans would love to see him do much better.

The lackluster QB performance is not a good sign for the team early at Steelers training camp, as this is undeniably the most important position in football. The good news for Pickett is that, despite a few performances he would love to forget, nobody has done enough to get a leg up on him yet.

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The hope is that, as time goes on this summer, Pickett could steadily improve — hopefully so much so that he’s in contention for the starting job. As we prepare for the third day of practice, the rookie quarterback needs to gain some confidence and pick up where he left off after a stellar 2021 season for the Pitt Panthers. We will keep a watchful eye on him throughout camp.