Steelers News

Cameron Heyward Believes Kenny Pickett Will ‘Unseat’ Top QBs In Time: ‘I’m Looking Forward To That’

While the Pittsburgh Steelers’ failure to reach the postseason was a disappointment, the extra time provided defensive lineman Cameron Heyward with the opportunity to flex some of his media chops. He made some appearances on the NFL Network to help promote the playoffs, with one appearance involving him participating in a panel discussion about the future state of the quarterback position in the AFC.

The question posed was who was best positioned to have a shot at overtaking Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the rule of the roost for the conference. The only names debated were Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Heyward weighed in, but in his head was a different answer. “They’re asking who’s gonna dethrone Pat Mahomes. They bring up Josh Allen, they bring up Joe Burrow, and I’m just like—Kenny Pickett!”, he said while talking to Pickett on his Not Just Football podcast. “It’s gonna come a time where you’re gonna unseat the dudes, and I’m looking forward to that”.

Pickett just completed his rookie season with the Steelers, during which he posted a 7-5 record as a starter, although one of his losses should fairly be attributed to Mitch Trubisky. He completed 63% of his passes, throwing for 2404 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions.

But only one of those interceptions came after the bye week, over his final nine games. He had an interception rate of just .45 over that span, the third-lowest of all quarterbacks over that span who attempted at least 100 passes (Desmond Ridder and Jared Goff threw zero interceptions).

Obviously, Pickett’s seven touchdown passes isn’t going to cut it, even if the second half saw an improvement, throwing five over his final nine games. He finished the season by throwing a touchdown in three straight games. He never threw more than one in a game, though. That’s another step he needs to take, but he believes he and the offense can get there, proving Heyward right.

“We’ll be able to match those offenses and go toe-to-toe with anybody here”, he said at the end of a lengthy answer when Heyward asked him about what it would take for him to get there to compete with Mahomes. “I’m excited to get to that point, but it’s gonna take a lot of work”.

Pickett only had 12 or 13 touchdowns per season in his first three years as a starter at Pitt. Then he threw 42 touchdowns in his senior season. Obviously, you hope it doesn’t take four years for him to start finding the end zone like that, but the progression potential is there in his resume.

To Top