The Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled to adjust since veteran Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, and he’s offered some insight on the new players.
Pittsburgh Steelers veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left a big hole in the quarterback spot that’s yet to be properly filled. Though he’s officially retired after a lengthy 18-season career that only happened in Pittsburgh, he’s still paying attention to the team as they try to adjust to a new starting quarterback.
Roethlisberger broke down rookie Kenny Pickett’s performance in a TikTok posted by SteelersU, pointing out a big opportunity missed. He discussed that Pickett could’ve thrown a 75-yard touchdown to Diontae Johnson on the first play, but he made a missed throw to George Pickens instead.
Unfortunately, this is on point for Pickett. He’s not a bad player and has produced some good results, such as a completion percentage of 66.7 over 1,161 yards, but he often misses opportunities for touchdowns, as shown by his record of just two touchdowns over six games total.
This is a big shift from Roethlisberger, who recorded a career completion percentage of 64.4 over 64,088 yards for an average of 7.6 yards per pass and 418 touchdowns. He was much more confident with the ball and quick to make big plays, whereas Pickett lacks experience in the NFL and hasn’t had much time to reach his fullest potential.
Players are certainly noticing, and Johnson, in particular, is a bit frustrated. However, it shouldn’t raise concerns just yet.
Kenny Pickett’s struggles on the Steelers shouldn’t raise concerns yet
Pickett is a rookie, after all. While his struggles aren’t ideal for the team, he’s showing signs of potential that could certainly be worked on through time and development. It’s not uncommon for rookies to take time to come into their role as a starter.
Mac Jones of the New England Patriots, for example, is comparable to Pickett this season. Jones is in his second NFL season, and though he’s a good player as well, he’s making similar mistakes. Over six games played, he’s only passed four touchdowns.
It’s not unusual for new players to make mistakes as they grow in their professional football career, and having a good foundation, as Pickett does, is a great place to start.
Roethlisberger made a great point of Pickett missing out on big plays, but as his skills continue to develop and he gets more experience in making plays in the NFL, he’ll likely blossom into a reliable quarterback over the next few years.