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Kenny Pickett Hints That Steelers Are ‘Definitely Going To Tweak Some Things’ To Improve Performance In The Red Zone

A few days removed for his first career start in the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett was asked Wednesday after practice in the locker room what specifically stood out to him offensively against the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday.

“The efficiency,” Pickett answered regarding his performance against the Bills, which was caught on video from Chris Adamski. “We moved it up and down the field and we hit the 20 and we just didn’t get into the end zone, and we looked at it. We’re definitely going to tweak some things to get some guys some opportunities and we have to execute and have come out with touchdowns there and points.”

Pickett spoke on the inefficiencies of the Pittsburgh offense in the red zone following the game last weekend, stating that the offense was moving the ball fine all day until they would reach the red zone and couldn’t finish the drive. This led to Mike Tomlin opting to kick field goals over going for it on fourth down on a couple of occasions, leading many to question Tomlin’s decision to play it conservative when facing one of the NFL’s most potent offenses that had been pouring it on all afternoon on their defense.

Pickett didn’t have a bad game per se in his first NFL start, going 34/52 for 327 yards and a bad INT and zero TDs. He showed poise in the pocket amidst pressure and had good touch and accuracy on plenty of his throws outside of the interception. Still, there were missed reads by Pickett for receivers that had more room to run after the catch, as well as some bad drops by intended targets who were unable to convert on possession downs.

While the ability to move the ball up and down the field is a good sign for Pickett in his first start, he and the rest of the offense desperately need to start converting in the red zone and turning those punts or field goal attempts into touchdowns in order to stay in these games. The defense is struggling without DPOY T.J. Watt in the lineup, thus putting more pressure on the offense to get the job done, as they don’t have the ability to have a defense keep the game low scoring like they did Week 1 in a thriller against the Bengals.

Pickett understands that playing winning football entails more than just moving the football. It means scoring points, specifically touchdowns. To this point in 2022, the Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled to do just that, whether it be due to the quarterback situation, OC Matt Canada, the offensive line play, or a combination of all these factors. Regardless, the Pittsburgh Steelers will look to make some much-needed adjustments quickly ahead of a daunting matchup with the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers who figure to take advantage of a beat up Steelers defense.

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