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#pounditThursday, June 13, 2024

Steelers downplay Kenny Pickett promotion talk

Kenny Pickett throws a pass during practice

May 13, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) participates in drills during Rookie Minicamp at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Pickett looked extremely sharp in his preseason debut with the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. He then took the majority of second-team reps in practice on Monday, which most people viewed as the rookie getting a promotion. If that was the case, the Steelers do not want to admit it.

Pickett completed 13 of 15 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night. One of the scores was a 24-yard throw to Tyler Vaughns with 3 seconds remaining that lifted Pittsburgh to a 32-25 win. Heading into that game, Pickett was third on the depth chart behind Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph. When asked if giving him second-team reps in practice on Monday was a reward for the solid play, Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada downplayed the change.

“Yeah, we’ve got a system in place,” Canada said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “Coach (Mike Tomlin), we’ve had this thing mapped out since I don’t know when. We’ll continue to stay right on our plan and see where it goes.”

Tomlin said after the Steelers drafted Pickett with the 20th overall pick that the team would put together a “plan” for how their three quarterbacks would prepare for the 2022 season. He has not shared any details of said plan. All we know is that Tribusky has taken first-team reps all offseason and Rudolph has been No. 2. Rudolph was the second quarterback to play for Pittsburgh on Saturday, and Pickett came in after that.

Trubisky, Rudolph and Pickett all led touchdown drives. None of the three threw an interception. Perhaps the plan all along was for Pickett to take some second-team reps leading up to the second preseason game, but that would be quite the coincidence.


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