Nobody likes to dwell on what is going wrong for the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, even the most optimistic fans know deep down that this team isn't ready to go to a Super Bowl. There is a big talent issue at several positions on the roster, while the quarterback play hasn't been close to where it needs to be.
Not all is doom and gloom. Front office heads Omar Khan and Andy Weidl landed an impressive draft haul in 2023 that could help reshape the future of the team, and Pittsburgh still has some star defensive players in the prime of their careers. However, here are four cold hard truths that pain us as Steelers fans.
Kenny Pickett is not a franchise quarterback
I know plenty of fans from both sides here -- the ones who loved Kenny Pickett from the start and those who were never Pickett fans, to begin with. Regardless of their past stance on the former Pitt QB or biases, most are finally coming together to admit that Pickett is not going to be a franchise quarterback.
I'll be the first to admit that I was pleasantly optimistic about Pickett following his second NFL season in 2023. Though I wasn't a fan of the selection with the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft (I had him as my 48th overall player that year), he impressed during training camp and had a perfect passer rating during the 2023 preseason.
Sadly, almost none of this carried over to the NFL stage. After showing some flashes as a rookie, Pickett has been worse in Year 2, and even putting up a single touchdown pass in a game has been a chore. The answer isn't on the roster, but the fact that Mason Rudolph has more TD passes, fewer interceptions, and a better passer rating in his career shows that Pickett simply isn't cutting it.
On top of this, Pickett is constantly getting banged up and can't stay on the field. This doesn't mean that the Steelers are guaranteed to move on next year, but fans are coming to the realization that he's not going to be the guy. Perhaps the coaching staff will as well.