‘I’m Really Starting To Get Over The Kenny Pickett Show’: Willie Colon Rips Pittsburgh QB For Dismal Performance
After the Pittsburgh Steelers lost on the road to the Cleveland Browns, 13-10, with Cleveland licking its wounds after losing starting quarterback Deshaun Watson for the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury, you knew there were going to be some critical takes coming Pittsburgh’s way Monday morning.
No one may be receiving more of them than QB Kenny Pickett. He looked overwhelmed yet again Sunday against the vaunted Cleveland defense, throwing for just 106 yards as he failed to connect with his receivers throughout the contest. Former Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger admitted he was confused where Pickett was going with the ball on Pittsburgh’s final drive as he continually seemed out of sync with his pass catchers. Roethlisberger’s former teammate, OL Willie Colon chimed in as well on The Carton Show Monday morning.
“Yeah, I’ve been over the Zach Wilson show, but I’m really starting to get over the Kenny Pickett show,” Colon said via video from The Carton Show’s Twitter page. “Like, it’s bad. Like, it comes to the point if it wasn’t for Jaylen Warren, who I think is the next coming of Maurice Jones-Drew. They’ve got the same body type and play style. An our defense plays as tough as you can.”
Colon hasn’t been afraid criticize Pickett, stating nearly a month ago that the second-year quarterback hasn’t been as advertised after putting together a preseason where Pickett posted a perfect passer rating and looked like the franchise quarterback Pittsburgh drafted him to be. That seems so long ago now. Pickett has been pitiful thus far in 2023, posting just 1,722 passing yards and six touchdowns to four interceptions in 10 games played. He’s completed 60.5% of his passes with an adjusted net yards per passing attempt of 4.96, according to Pro Football Reference. He has a 2.1% touchdown rate on the season and only 1.9% for his career, a historically bad mark for any starting quarterback.
All of the blame can’t be put on Pickett as the offensive line got manhandled by EDGE Myles Garrett and the Browns’ defensive front. The offensive system under OC Matt Canada isn’t great either, having its obvious flaws with the opposing defense calling out the team’s plays on a regular basis. However, Pickett’s inadequacy to execute the bare minimum for large portions of games is severely handicapping this team’s chances of being successful on offense. It makes the Steelers one-dimensional by relying on the running game and needing the defense to produce multiple splash plays every game to have a chance to win.
The defense held Cleveland to 13 points and 259 yards of total offense, but it wasn’t enough. The running game, spearheaded by RB Jaylen Warren, amassed 172 yards, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Pittsburgh’s lack of a passing game. Pickett may have a better overall record than Jets QB Zach Wilson, whom Colon also mentions, but the two share more similarities than Steelers fans would care to admit. Both are former first-round picks trying to find their footing in the league. Both leaning on stout defenses and strong running games, needing everything to go right around them to be successful. That hasn’t resulted in much success in the stat sheet for either passer, each vastly underwhelming relative to expectations coming out of college.
The Jets opted to move on from Wilson as their starter, trading for QB Aaron Rodgers only to see him tear his Achilles in Week One, forcing them to go back to Wilson. The question remains whether Pittsburgh will stick it out with Pickett past 2023 as its starting quarterback. The margin for victory is so small with him at the helm and the rest of the Steelers must do everything right to avoid creating a hole their quarterback can’t get them out of. We have seven games left in the season to see if Pickett can do it, but as we sit here today, it’s fair to have skepticism in Pickett like Colon has shown.