Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett received hefty praise from offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are prepared to have a quarterback not named Ben Roethlisberger start in the team’s season opener. This preseason, the battle for the QB1 job has essentially come down to veteran Mitchell Trubisky and rookie first round pick Kenny Pickett. Even with the 53-player roster cut down deadline, head coach Mike Tomlin has yet to make a decision on who will start against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1.
With a decision still looming (and there being no indication as to when an announcement will be made), Pickett did receive some praise from his offensive coordinator Matt Canada. The comments come while meeting with the media, via Steelers.com.
Steelers OC praises Kenny Pickett ahead of QB decision
“I feel comfortable with Kenny Pickett in any role,” said Canada, h/t SteelersDepot.com.” I think he’s had a tremendous camp. I think he’s shown growth from day one of rookie minicamp to as we went through OTAs and he did some things that looked like a rookie or whatever, and he’s still going to be a rookie. But I think he’s progressed as well as we would hope that he would. Again, I’m sure there’s plays he would want back, but as a whole, he’s done a very good job as all three of ’em have.”
Pickett holds the distinction of being the first quarterback selected in this year’s NFL Draft class, and the Steelers were the team to select him. He played his entire collegiate career with the Pitt Panthers, most notably last year, where he finished third in Heisman voting.
The selection of Pickett came after the team signed Trubisky, who was one of the top free agent quarterbacks, to a two-year contract. This preseason, it was a quarterback battle between those two and Mason Rudolph. Towards the end, it was basically between Trubisky and Pickett, with the rookie really pushing Trubisky based off what has been a solid performance throughout the preseason.
Here is how Pickett performed in all three of his appearances this month:
- Preseason Week 1 vs. Seattle Seahawks: 13-of-15 on pass attempts, 95 yards, two touchdowns
- Preseason Week2 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: 6-of-7 on pass attempts, 76 yards, one touchdown
- Preseason Week 3 vs. Detroit Lions: 10-of-14 on pass attempts, 90 yards
It will only be a matter of time before Steelers fans find out who will be starting at quarterback for the season-opener against not only a division rival, but also the defending AFC Champions. However the decision falls for Pickett, his offensive coordinator has noticed how much he has progressed since joining the team.