Can the Steelers count on Kenny Pickett?
One of my biggest takeaways from the Steelers loss last week was that Kenny Pickett may not be as primed for a jump as many, myself included, thought he was ready for. It was a horrible showing in week one. The preseason days of efficient passing and big plays were replaced with regression to how he looked early in his rookie season.
One game isn’t going to define his season, but I find myself more concerned than most fans seem to be. It appears as though Steelers nation has been quick to sum this game up as the line or Matt Canada’s fault, and Pickett isn’t to blame. While there is plenty of blame to go around, Pickett certainly isn’t spotless.
He was once again struggling to progress through reads and make changes on the fly. This led to him staring down his targets and forcing throws. As well, his short and middle accuracy was poor, as he couldn’t consistently deliver catchable balls. He isn’t the only issue on offense, but his play in week one was a core reason why this team lost in an embarrassing fashion.
Pickett needs to get himself back on track this week and look more like he did in the offseason. Mistakes will still be there for the second-year quarterback, but looking worse than he did when he finished his rookie season is a bad sign. He doesn’t need to be perfect, but Pickett has to show that he is a player on the rise this week.
The Steelers had quite the deflating game in week one, coming up short against an admittedly good 49ers team. The Browns were no slouches last week, and if Pittsburgh wants to have a shot this week, they will need to answer these four pivotal questions.