Former Steelers’ DB Bryant McFadden Doesn’t Expect Kenny Pickett To Be Week One Starter

Eventually, rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett will be handed the reins of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After being selected by the black and gold at No. 20 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, Pickett is very clearly the intended future for the Steelers’ franchise at the most important position in all of sports. However, former Steelers’ defensive back and two-time Super Bowl champion Bryant McFadden doesn’t believe that Pickett will be able to win the starting job in training camp over the likes of free agent veteran Mitch Trubisky and fifth-year incumbent quarterback Mason Rudolph.

Appearing on the Maggie & Perloff Show on CBS Sports with fill-in host Zach Gill, McFadden stated that he doesn’t expect Pickett to start for the black and gold Week 1 on the road Sept. 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“No, I don’t think so. That’s not necessarily a knock on Kenny Pickett. It’s just that it’s a lot for him to digest as a professional quarterback of the National Football League and understanding the offense, understanding how the game is going, the flow of the ball game,” McFadden said to Gill, according to audio via CBS Sports Radio. “I don’t expect to see Kenny Pickett start Week One. Now could he start throughout the season? Potentially, if things are not going well with the offense and the flow, but right now, Week one, nah. I don’t  expect to see him start Week One.”

Quite honestly, it would be a shock to see Pickett win the starting job in training camp and start Week 1 on the road against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium, kickstarting his NFL career quickly in AFC North football in a hostile environment.

Based on the way the Steelers have handled Pickett throughout the offseason in OTAs and minicamp, Pittsburgh is going to bring him along slowly, allowing him to get his feet underneath him, learn the playbook and really understand what it takes to be a professional.

The Week 1 starter will come down to Trubisky or Rudolph, which really shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. The Steelers once brought along Ben Roethlisberger slowly before he had to be inserted into the lineup due to injury. That hopefully won’t be the case for Pickett, especially in Week 1. He’ll eventually make his debut, but expecting him to start the season opener as the guy is a major stretch at this point, as McFadden stated.

That’s not a knock on Pickett either, like McFadden stated. It’s just the reality of the situation and the way the Steelers want to be diligent with their intended future franchise quarterback.

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