Ex-Steelers Lineman: ‘I Probably Would’ Be Ready for Kenny Pickett

Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Nick Cammett/Getty Images Quarterback Kenny Pickett of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up prior to a game against the Cleveland Browns on September 22, 2022.

In the immediate aftermath of Pittsburgh’s 29-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns this past Thursday night, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he would not consider making a change at quarterback before the team’s next game. During the Sept. 23 edition of The Ramon Foster Show, former Steelers offensive guard Ramon Foster directly addressed that statement and talked about what he might be feeling if he was still playing.

“Coach T(omlin) said ‘definitively no’ when it comes down to Kenny Pickett being the guy. He’s supposed to say that. Do I trust that that’s’ how he feels? Yeah. Do I absolutely believe it? Not really,” concluded Foster, who played guard for the Steelers for 11 seasons (2009-19).

Ramon Foster ‘Ready’ to See Kenny Pickett?

Foster seems to believe there’s at least a small chance that Tomlin is going to make the switch from Mitch Trubisky to 2022 first-round pick Kenny Pickett in the coming days. In an appearance on The Zach Gelb Show on Friday, Foster said he would likely be “ready” for Pickett to take over for Trubisky.

“Yeah, I probably would, just because they’ve got a bye right now — a mini bye — they have 10 days before the next game. If I saw stuff in practice that said he could get us going … ” then Foster would be onboard with the change, knowing that everyone would have to step up to make the rest of Pickett’s rookie year as successful as possible.

“You’d have to let everybody involved know, look, we’ve got to protect him,” Foster added. “They’re going to come at him a little bit harder, they are going to make things crazy for him. He doesn’t know the way NFL defenses operate, and it’s gotta be, at least offensively, it’s gotta be a collective goal to say we’re going to make him look good, because if he’s good then everybody is eating.”

All that said, Foster doesn’t necessarily buy into the notion that Steelers fans will see the same Pickett that excelled during the preseason.

“You gotta look who he was going against,” he said, referring to the motley collection of second- and third-stringers he went against in August. Yet he does believe that Pickett is going to experience at least a certain amount of success in the league.

Ramon Foster: Kenny Pickett is Going to be ‘Good’

“I think Kenny is going to be good. How good? He’s following a future Hall of Famer in Ben Roethlisberger, so that is yet to be seen,” he added, before noting that it could benefit him to spend more time on the bench before taking over as the starter.

For one, his “knowledge and understanding,” as Foster put it, can improve while he waits his turn.

Moreover, Pittsburgh’s offense might be further along a month or so down the road, in part because the unit features a number of new players, and in part because the shorter preseason means that offenses are less polished in the early part of the season than they were in years past.

“We’re seeing a whole lot of teams struggle out the gates right now. We’re watching Green Bay drop games they are not supposed to drop. We’re seeing a team that is supposed to be pretty strong in Minnesota drop games they are not supposed to drop…. Losing that fourth preseason game takes away from that dress rehearsal of putting your group together,” noted Foster.

That’s yet another reason Foster isn’t ready to count the Steelers out, despite the 1-2 start and third-place position in the AFC North.