Getty reports that the Pittsburgh Steelers were interested in another quarterback after signing Kenny Pickett in 2022.
Enny Pickett has found creative ways to help the Pittsburgh Steelers win games. He was particularly effective on the track. So much so that he has drawn a startling comparison to the all-time greatest quarterback of a former franchise star.
Two-time Super Bowl champion Ike Taylor went so far as to describe Pickett’s reliability in the handle as Tom Brady-esque on his Bleav in Steelers podcast, saying:
“For me, Kenny is a perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Taylor said. “They can say whatever they want about what a prototypical quarterback should look like and what characteristics he must have. Man, give me that Tom Brady trait! And I’m not saying Kenny is close to Tom at all; I’m just saying one trait and I know that Kenny will finish the game when there are three and a half to two minutes left and the game is close. He’s going to make this drive and put some points on the board.”
Is Ike Taylor’s Kenny Pickett-Tom Brady comparison premature?
Taylor had to make the difference between Pickett and Brady clear in order to maintain his credibility. However, when you look at Pickett’s performances in two seasons as a pro, his cockiness may be quite believable.
Take this year as an example. The Steelers trailed in the fourth quarter in all but one game, which they ultimately won. Pickett’s game-winning, game-winning drives speak for themselves. He led an 11-play, 92-yard drive that lasted 5:11 to take the lead and defeat the Tennessee Titans in Week 8.
Previously, he led a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended the tie against the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter. He then marched down the field in their final 10-play drive lasting 5:28 minutes, ending the Week 6 game.
Pittsburgh trailed the Baltimore Ravens 10-3 in Week 4 before scoring 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure its biggest win of the season. Pickett has been sensational throughout and his grip factor has overcome some of the inconsistencies he has yet to overcome in his game as a second-year pro.
How Pickett can differentiate himself from Brady’s book
Brady is a unique talent that you really can’t stand next to (unless you’re Patrick Mahomes). He began his career winning championships and possessed a clutch gene that few before or after him had achieved.
However, Brady’s arm was questioned early on. It also followed him in the latter part of his career as he faced contemporaries such as Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Steelers legend Ben Roethlisberger.
Still, Brady has been able to establish himself in a way that Pickett wants to improve on. Brady became the most reliable converter on third down throughout his career. He won his seven championships by moving the chains and keeping the drives alive.
Pickett continually yearned to improve in third and manageable situations. He’s not as happy as he would like with his ability to keep his offense on the field and would greatly benefit from watching Brady’s film or even reaching out to the legend himself.
Ike Taylor was a great quarterback in his 12-year career as a Steeler
Taylor played for the Steelers from 2003 to 2014 and witnessed the greatness of Ben Roethlisberger in the clutch. He also defended against some of the most reliable quarterbacks in the league at the time, including Brees and Kurt Warner, to name a few.
He would know better than most what a game-changing quarterback looks like. He reiterated his praise for Pickett by saying he was the man to move the Steelers forward. His views echoed those of his franchise colleague Terry Bradshaw in recent weeks.
We have yet to see the best of Pickett. Unless he gets injured, he will have plenty of time to develop his game and lead the Steelers to the title game. Right now, his late-game reliability is a rarity that the franchise is fortunate to have.
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