The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Carolina Panthers in Week 15, and it is unknown if they’ll have their rookie quarterback available to quarterback the team as they hope to remain relevant in the AFC Playoff Picture.
With playoff hopes waning, it is natural for fans, and media outlets, to start the evaluation process for teams, especially those who find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff race.
The Steelers would certainly fit into that description, and when it comes to criticism, there is no position more highly scrutinized than the quarterback position. ESPN recently did an article where they outlined all 32 NFL quarterbacks’ biggest weakness.
The weakness ESPN outlined for Pickett might surprise some fans. Here is what they said:
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickett’s relative weakness this year has been a poor performance when not pressured. Of course, Pickett has a lower QBR when pressured because nearly every quarterback has a lower QBR when pressured. However, Pickett ranks 13th in the league with a 24.9 QBR with pass pressure. But he’s 28th out of 31 qualifying quarterbacks with a 49.6 QBR when he’s not pressured.
At one point this season, Pickett had one of the highest QB Ratings against the blitz; however, compared to not being blitzed his numbers dropped off. When you consider the facet of this discussion as Pickett being a rookie, it is surprising his weakness is when pressure is applied by the opposing defense.
Then again, when you consider Pickett’s comments this season, he openly stated the speed of the game, and defenders, hasn’t been an issue. That transition hasn’t been difficult. The part of the game which has tripped up Pickett more than once has been the number of defenses NFL teams can throw at any time. The teams who can disguise coverages to confuse a young, inexperienced quarterback.
The recognition of these defenses will improve as Pickett gains experience, but his ability to perform under pressure, literally, is an uplifting aspect of Pickett’s rookie campaign. If he can continue to grow in the other areas of his game the Steelers could have their next “guy” at the position, this a year after their previous “guy” retired. Not a bad secession plan...
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Panthers this Sunday in Week 15.