Kenny Pickett has found creative ways to help the Pittsburgh Steelers win games. Down the stretch, he’s been particularly effective — so much so that he has drawn an eye-bulging comparison to an all-time great quarterback from a former franchise star.
“For me, Kenny is the perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers,” he said. “They can say what they wanna say about what a prototypical quarterback should look like and all the traits that they need to have. Man, give me that Tom Brady trait! And I’m not saying that Kenny is even close to Tom; I’m just saying a trait, and I know with three-and-a-half to two minutes left, and the game is close, Kenny gonna close out the game. He’s gonna make that drive, and he’s gonna put some points on the board.”
Is Ike Taylor’s Kenny Pickett-Tom Brady Comparison Premature?
Taylor had to put that distinction between Pickett and Brady out there to maintain his credibility. However, when looking at Pickett’s performances in two seasons as a pro, there may be some credence to his extolment.
Take this year as an example. The Steelers trailed in the fourth quarter in all but one game that they ended up winning. Pickett’s game-sealing and game-winning drives speak for themselves. He led an 11-play, 92 yard drive lasting 5:11 to take the lead and down the Tennessee Titans in Week 8.
Prior to that, he fueled a 10-play, 80 yard drive that broke a tie with the Los Angeles Rams in the 4th quarter. He then marched down the field on their final 10-play drive lasting 5:28 to ice the game in Week 6.
Pittsburgh was down 10-3 vs the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4 before scoring 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to seal their biggest win of the season. Pickett’s been sensational throughout and his clutch factor has covered for some of the inconsistencies he’s yet to overcome in his game as a second-year pro.
How Pickett Can Take a Page Out of Brady’s Book
Brady is a one-of-one talent that really can’t be stood next to (unless you’re Patrick Mahomes). He started his career winning championships and bore a clutch gene that few have ever matched.
However, Brady had his arm called into question early. It followed him even in the latter portion of his career when juxtaposed to contemporaries like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Steelers legend Ben Roethlisberger.
Nevertheless, Brady was able to establish himself in one way that Pickett is seeking to improve in. Brady became the most reliable converter on third down during his career. He won his seven championships behind moving the chains and keeping drives alive.
Pickett has been incessant in his yearning to improve in third and manageable situations. He’s not satisfied with his ability to keep his offense on the field as much as he’d like and would benefit greatly from watching Brady film or even reaching out to the legend himself.
Ike Taylor’s Been Around Quarterback Greatness in His 12-Year Career as a Steeler
Taylor played for the Steelers from 2003-2014 and bore witness to Ben Roethlisberger’s greatness in the clutch. He also defended against some of the most dependable quarterbacks in the league at that time including Brees and Kurt Warner.
He’d know better than most what a game-changing quarterback looks like. He solidified his praise of Pickett by saying he’s the guy for the Steelers moving forward. His sentiments seconded fellow franchise great Terry Bradshaw‘s assessment in late October.
We have yet to see the best of Pickett. Barring injury, he has ample time to develop his game further and lead the Steelers to championship contention. For now, his dependability late in games is a rarity that the franchise is lucky to have.