The Steelers community desperately needs to move on from this NFL drama

Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Throughout the past week or so, a simple search of Steelers news has led you to articles about some, for the lack of a better word, “drama” that has been associated with the franchise. This is, of course, troubling news, as with us now being in July, our focus should be locked on unleashing a pivotal 2024-25 campaign.

Now that statement holds true regardless of what the drama in question entails, but it’s especially worth remembering when learning that it doesn’t even involve a current player. That’s right, this storyline highlights Pittsburgh’s beef with former quarterback Kenny Pickett.

For those in need of a brief refresher, Pickett was reportedly stomping his foot over the news of Pittsburgh acquiring legendary QB Russell Wilson from Denver and, in retaliation, asserted that he wished to take his “talents” elsewhere.

With the Steelers having used a first-round pick on Pickett just a couple of years prior, along with the consensus then being that he’d succeed Ben Roethlisberger, this was a punch to the gut that no one saw coming. As a result, the young stud swiftly fell out of favor amongst yinzers, with him being seen as arrogant, immature, exhibiting poor leadership, and so on.

Does all of this sound familiar? Good, because not only is it old news, it’s also old enough to have been forgotten by the media and, particularly after the snagging of Justin Fields, the Steelers community itself…or so we thought.

Little did we know, the public bickering was just getting started

Recently, a long-time quarterback coach of Pickett’s, Tony Racioppi, spoke on what he viewed as harmfully false narratives within pro-Steelers media that surrounded the QB’s character, calling them “100 percent BS.”

This stance should come with no surprise; he’s obviously going to sell the good side of his pupils and hype up their abilities—that’s part of his job. But, what’s added much fuel to the fire is the response Racioppi got from Mike Florio of, who not only shared a similar takeaway as mine but most notably questioned if anyone on Pittsburgh’s side of the aisle even needed to make Pickett look bad, implying that he had done that well enough on his own.

As one could surely expect, this exchange has fully revived the topic of Kenny Pickett’s worth as a potential star, with a heavy prioritization of what Steeler Nation has to say about it. My only question is: Why?

I don’t care about Kenny Pickett anymore, and neither should anyone else

Each of us are allowed to have our opinions on Pickett, whether they pertain to his on-field performance, his objectively controversial departure from the Steel City, or a combination of the two. However, them bleeding back into the headlines now is nothing short of ridiculous.

I was one of many who believed in “Pickettsburgh,” and his being drafted at such a vulnerable time for the Steelers—out of a local school, too—made the idea seem all the more poetic.

But, did the knowledge of that dream feed into an already-enlarged ego? Probably, and did that pave the way for him to react so poorly when Russell Wilson was brought in? I’m sure, but that’s sports. They’re a business, where today’s professional athletes go the extra mile for “respect” and will take a stand if they don’t feel like they’re getting it. That’s what happened here, and it resulted in a split. Unfortunate? Yep. Unheard of? Absolutely not.

So again, when looking at the calendar and seeing that the preseason begins next month, is it so wrong for me to suggest we use our collective brain power on, I don’t know, anything else?