Pittsburgh Steelers fans won’t love the latest update from Kenny Pickett’s first go-around at team mini camp, and it’s not even his fault.
It’s important to begin this story by gauging the expectations: Pickett was deemed pro-ready, and Steelers fans are used to near-two decades of stable if not great quarterback play.
While Ben Roethlisberger is retired, he’s been deemed a resource for Pickett and Mitchell Trubisky should they need it. Yet, some reports suggest Mason Rudolph, of all players, has been the most impressive so far.
“Regardless of where he landed in the rep pecking order, Rudolph looked the best of the four quarterbacks,” Mark Kaboly of The Athletic wrote. “Surely, you scoff at that notion, but Rudolph has used the past three weeks to at least put himself in the conversation of being in the battle, even though it remains a long shot.”
Steelers: Kenny Pickett getting suboptimal reviews so far
This isn’t to say Pickett has looked bad, of course. Perhaps he just has more competition in front of him than other positions. And that’s fair — quarterback is the most important position in professional football by a long shot. Pittsburgh brought in Trubisky and kept Rudolph around for a reason. This is an open competition.
Per Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Pickett actually has very little chance of winning the starting job in training camp.
Now, whether that’s reflective of how he’s performed so far remains to be seen. It could also mean that Rudolph and Trubisky have impressed so far, or merely have a head start — as in years of NFL experience — that Pickett does not have yet.
The Kendrick Green note, however, is a concerning one. As an offensive lineman who will be tasked with protecting Pickett or whoever is behind center Week 1, Green was awful last season. While still young, Green keeping Trubisky, Rudolph or Pickett upright needs to be the Steelers’ top priority.
Starting a player like Green might not be a good sign, unless he’s made some major offseason changes.