Ben Roethlisberger shares 1 big difference between his situation and Kenny Pickett’s
Kenny Pickett is the first quarterback the Pittsburgh Steelers have selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since Ben Roethlisberger, but Big Ben thinks there is a big difference between their situations.
When Big Ben was taken by the Steelers in 2004, the team was loaded with experienced players like Jerome Bettis, Duce Staley, Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress.
As Roethlisberger said in the first episode of his new podcast, which was published on Sunday, his focus at quarterback was not screwing things up. Pickett is currently backing up Mitch Trubisky. But his situation will be different from Roethlisberger’s, if and when the rookie sees the field.
Big Ben noted that Pickett’s teammates on offense are young, which will give the rookie a chance to assert himself.
“I had a really veteran group. Kenny … he might even be older than some of the second-year guys. It’s a younger group on offense, so it’s not the same kind of pressure,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s got a chance to really take that group kind of by the collar, be like, ‘I’m the leader of this group.’”
Roethlisberger is right. Pickett played five years at Pitt from 2017-2021. He is now 24 years old, which is older than your typical rookie. He is three years older than fellow rookie, George Pickens. Pickett is the same age as guys like receiver Chase Claypool, tight end Pat Freiermuth and running back Najee Harris, who all have at least one year of NFL experience.
Roethlisberger says he hopes Pickett won’t be playing anytime soon, and that’s only because he wants to see Trubisky succeed. But if Pickett gets an opportunity to play, the rookie should try to take control.