The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering the 2023 offseason with many team needs. Unlike last offseason, the Steelers don’t find themselves amidst the pending quarterback frenzy.
After the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers seemed to have found their quarterback, at least for the foreseeable future in Kenny Pickett. When you think about this simple fact, you can imagine how fortunate the fan base could be if Pickett turns out to be the real deal and the next franchise quarterback.
The retirement of one franchise quarterback, and the next franchise quarterback selected the year after.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, one great quarterback giving way to another great quarterback, but it certainly is rare.
- Joe Montana to Steve Young
- Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers
- Drew Bledsoe to Tom Brady
Like I said, it’s rare.
Nonetheless, the Steelers could have found the same success if Kenny Pickett pans out, for those Pickett haters out there, I said “if” he pans out.
While looking at NFL articles this weekend, I couldn’t help but notice some of the headlines, and be astonished by the question marks surrounding the quarterbacks of so many teams. Just look at some of these headlines...
Will Lamar Jackson return to Baltimore?
Is an Aaron Rodgers trade really possible?
What is Atlanta’s plan under center?
How will the Derek Carr saga play out in Vegas?
I found myself looking at just these headlines and was unbelievably thankful these articles weren’t regarding the Steelers’ need for a quarterback. Articles which weren’t talking about the Steelers needing to move up and draft a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft.
There are many fans who still don’t believe the Steelers found their next quarterback, and that’s fine. While I rooted for Pickett throughout his rookie season, it was solely based on the simple fact of it being the best-case scenario for the team.
After all, the Steelers have lucked into quarterbacks before.
In 2004, with the 11th pick overall, the Steelers selected Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger out of Miami (OH). The Cleveland Browns possessed the 10th pick in that very same draft, and instead of taking their franchise quarterback from their own state, they took tight end Kellen Winslow Jr.
Talk about luck.
In 2022, in what many determined was one of the weakest quarterback classes in recent memory, the Steelers likely thought there was no chance there wouldn’t be a quarterback taken before their selection at No. 20. When they were on the clock, all quarterbacks were available, and the Steelers made the pick with the quarterback they knew the best in Pickett who played next door at Pitt the previous five years.
Talk about luck.
Want to know what unlucky looks like? Just look at the teams who drafted quarterbacks thinking they have their next “guy”, only to find out they were anything but that type of player:
- Vince Young
- Tim Couch
- Matt Leinart
- Brady Quinn
- JaMarcus Russell
- Ryan Leaf
Heck, Steelers fans know all about the drought which can take place at the quarterback position. Just look at the Bradshaw to Ben era of Steelers football.
I consider myself lucky the Steelers could have their next quarterback for the next decade, which means I won’t be writing those type of articles for a long time. At the same time, until Pickett proves himself as capable to get the team back to prominence will fans really be on board believing Pickett won’t find himself on the aforementioned list.
Until then...I’m happy those articles aren’t being written about the Steelers quarterback position.
(Note: The Letter From the Editor article runs every Sunday during the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason.)