Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett had his SUV stolen while making a radio appearance last week at a car dealership in Pittsburgh.
You know what that means? Pickett might have the perfect excuse for when someone asks him to appear at another car dealership/supermarket/golf outing for a radio interview. It might also give Pickett the perfect “out” for the next time he’s asked to show up at someone’s house to do a podcast.
I say this because I watched two of Pickett’s most-recent podcast appearances; the first when he appeared on Ryan Clark’s Pivot Podcast, and then weeks later when he showed up to Ben Roethlisberger’s house for his Footbahlin Podcast.
Maybe it was just my imagination, but Pickett seemed preoccupied both times. He was there, but he just didn’t seem “present.”
I’m not saying Pickett was preoccupied out of a lack of respect for these former Steelers—and NFL—legends. I think it had more to do with his mind being totally wrapped up in becoming the very best quarterback he could be.
That could be why, even when you see Pickett laughing and joking around during interviews, he looks like one of those small business owners who’s totally obsessed with the day-to-day operations even on their day off—“I need to call and make sure they ordered enough bread for the day!”
I get it, though.
I don’t think a lot of fans truly appreciate the pressure that is on a quarterback, whether he’s established or not.
It’s like being the President of the United States.
Every decision you make goes under the microscope. Every quote gets dissected for days. Every mistake you make gets scrutinized by those who hate you, sure, but even by those who love and/or respect you.
Speaking of which, half the people almost always hate you, that is until you establish yourself. But even if your approval rating is in the 90s, there will always be some who secretly want you to fail (in Pickett’s case, those people are most likely Penn State and WVU fans).
Every play starts with the quarterback, and no matter what happens in a negative sense, he almost always has to share in the blame. A quarterback’s teammates look to him to be a leader. His coach looks to him to be a leader. He has to know every play, and he has to be fully aware of the individual responsibilities of all of his teammates on each one.
Imagine having all of that pressure and those responsibilities before you’re an established NFL quarterback.
I’d have a hard time being “present,” too.
I like it, though. I admire the fact that Pickett seems so focused and intense all the time.
As I’ve said before, if Pickett fails to live up to his potential, it won’t be because of a lack of preparation.
Pickett seems determined to squeeze every last ounce of quarterback talent out of his body and mind.
When and if he finally does, maybe he’ll loosen up a bit and be more present on those occasions when he’s supposed to be having fun.
Perhaps he’ll even take up motorcycle riding on his days off.
On second thought, Kenny Pickett doesn’t have to loosen up THAT much until he retires.