Steelers who deserves a lump of coal for their 2023 performance

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
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Kenny Pickett hasn’t been it for the Steelers

The entire quarterback room could be listed here with little to no issue. The entire unit, sans Mason Rudolph who has yet to see considerable action (and let's not kid ourselves with what he is as a player), has been bad.

Mitch Trubisky is deserving of some backlash here, as he is one of the better-paid backups in the league yet couldn’t do anything when pushed into the starting role. That said, Kenny Pickett is far more of an issue right now given his long-term ramifications with this team.

Pickett has a strong fanbase given the fact that he played college ball locally at Pittsburgh. That said, his rookie season was a mess, and he needed to make a jump to justify his selection in the first round. It looked like he was poised for the jump during the preseason.

Then the actual season got underway, and Pickett looked like a mess. He was struggling to progress through reads, had no pocket presence, and struggled with accuracy. These were all issues in his rookie season, and they were only getting worse.

Fans were quick to find blame in Matt Canada, the line, or anyone other than Pickett. Even after his lackluster play continued in the wake of the Matt Canada firing and improved line play, fans are still claiming that Pickett is the savior. Heck, some fans seem to think we owe him an apology considering that Trubisky has looked equally bad as a starter.

My issue is that should Pickett be solely compared to Trubisky? I ideally would want him to excel past that level. If all you want to do is compare Pickett to backups though, this is the year to do it considering the litany of injuries to the position league-wide.

A familiar name in Joe Flacco has resurfaced for the Browns while relative unknowns in Tommy DeVito and Jake Browning have shown flashes of talent. All three have outperformed Pickett this year despite not being the starter in week one. Heck, Flacco and Browning have outperformed Pickett in just a couple of games.

With such a high investment in him mixed in with the stubbornness of this franchise, there is a real chance that the Steelers are stuck with Pickett for at least another season. Because of this and the track record of mediocre quarterbacks not moving the needle for teams, he is deserving of some coal this holiday season.