NFL Rumors: Steelers reportedly want Kenny Pickett as franchise starting QB in 2024

After a disappointing 13-30 loss against the Indianapolis Colts days ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers picked up three consecutive victories. Their recent victory came against Lamar Jackson’s mighty Baltimore Ravens in Week 18’s season finale. With ten wins and seven losses, the team is now sitting in the third spot in the AFC North, behind the Ravens and Cleveland Browns.

Keeping aside the Steelers current playoff scenario, their quarterback room has undergone significant setbacks this season due to their starting quarterback Kenny Pickett’s continuous struggle with injuries. Despite his continuous battle with setbacks, the franchise is reportedly eyeing to keep Pickett as their QB1 in the upcoming season as well.

Steelers want to keep Kenny Pickett as main QB

When the Steelers decided to retain Mason Rudolph as the starting quarterback over the returning Kenny Pickett in their Week 18 clash against the Ravens, rumors sparked about the team’s long-term quarterback plans. However, despite the immediate move to keep Rudolph at the helm, the franchise reportedly would remain unwavering in their belief in Pickett’s potential as their franchise quarterback, signaling a commitment to his future with the team.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Steelers continue to harbor strong confidence in Pickett’s abilities, and still view him as a cornerstone for the franchise beyond the current season.

“My understanding is the organization does still believe in Kenny Pickett and does not want to move on from him after the season. Still a ton of confidence that he can be a franchise starter. Just a matter of playing, right now, the quarterback who gives them the best chance,” Ian Rapoport said on NFL Gameday before the Steelers vs Ravens match.

While Rudolph has admirably stepped in for the injured Pickett, securing crucial wins to buoy the team’s playoff aspirations, the Steelers’ stance on their former QB1 highlights a broader strategy. Rudolph’s recent performances of amassing 564 yards, two touchdowns, and displaying impeccable ball security with zero turnovers while completing over two-thirds of his passes, have undeniably contributed to the team’s late-season resurgence.

The Steelers’ playoff prospects, once hanging by a thread, now hinge on a more manageable route, requiring only a loss from either the Buffalo Bills or Jacksonville Jaguars to clinch one of the AFC Wild Card spots. Nevertheless, this development, while favorable for postseason contention, hasn’t wavered the team’s conviction in Kenny Pickett’s long-term potential.

Kenny Pickett’s performance this NFL season

Kenny Pickett’s journey in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers has been a rollercoaster of promise, and setbacks, especially the 2023 NFL season. After an impressive preseason showcasing his potential, Pickett faced the tumultuous departure of the team’s offensive coordinator, Matt Canada amid the regular season. Canada was kicked out of the franchise due to his underwhelming records.

Despite the coaching upheaval, the signal-caller started in 12 games this season and led the Steelers to a commendable 7-5 record. Within these appearances, he exhibited flashes of his talent by accumulating 2,070 passing yards, while notching six touchdowns against four interceptions.

Injuries cast a shadow over the QB’s otherwise promising run. The first sign of trouble emerged in Week 4, a bone bruise, albeit that didn’t force him out of any games. But Week 8 brought a more concerning setback when a rib injury sidelined him for the latter half of the game.

However, the most significant blow came in Week 13 when a high ankle sprain struck the dual threat, which led to surgery and a prolonged absence. This injury saw him replaced by Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph in following games. With Rudolph starting in Week 18, Kenny Pickett’s regular season ended without being able to appear as an QB1 in the field for several games.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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