If the Pittsburgh Steelers want to make it to a Super Bowl in the near future, it all comes down to second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Colin Cowherd explained why on a recent episode of “The Herd,” pointing out that the Steelers’ history shows that they go to and win Super Bowls with a great QB in his physical prime, which Cowherd doesn’t believe Pickett to be in currently.
“It’s all on Kenny Pickett. … You can do everything right in the National Football League — everything. Pittsburgh is a great example. Great ownership, great culture [and a] really good coach. [The Steelers] draft well, they have continuity. … It [has been] a brilliantly run business for 50 years. They’ve done everything right, but they’ve only won Super Bowls since the 1970s when they have a great, legendary quarterback in his physical prime. Ben Roethlisberger [in] 2005 [and] 2008. [Terry] Bradshaw in the 70s. That’s it. They got to another Super Bowl [and] got blown out [because they] didn’t have a great quarterback. … That’s the only time they win Super Bowls [and] hoist trophies.”
[Related: NFL young QB check-in: From Bryce Young to Sam Howell, who’s ready to shine?]
“It doesn’t matter how great T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward [and] Minkah Fitzpatrick [are] — they’re all great,” Cowherd added. “It all comes down to Kenny Pickett, [and] I don’t see greatness. … I think Kenny Pickett has a chance to be a very good quarterback. … Maybe a little more mobile Kirk Cousins [and] a much more accurate throwing Dak Prescott. Somewhere in that mix. … He had moments last year — a lot of starts.”
The only quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Pickett was part of a Steelers offense that averaged just 18.1 points per game last season in offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system.
Pickett’s rookie season consisted of 2,404 passing yards, seven touchdowns and nine interceptions in 13 games. His steady play down the stretch in 2022 helped Pittsburgh win seven of its last nine games to finish 9-8 for the season.
The good news is that the 25-year-old should have plenty of support this season from a young core on offense, which checked in at No. 15 in our latest NFL young talent rankings, and includes RB Najee Harris, WR George Pickens, TE Pat Freiermuth, OLB Alex Highsmith and OG James Daniels.
The Steelers have played in eight Super Bowls all-time, winning six of them, including four in six years. They never averaged fewer than 21.7 points per game in the regular season in any of those six wins.
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