The Pittsburgh Steelers were always high on Kenny Pickett, and they decided to roll with him almost straight out of college last season.
Mike Tomlin gave him the nod as soon as he felt like he was ready to handle the offense, and while the early returns weren’t exactly encouraging, he did finish the season on a high note.
The offseason came with mixed reviews, with some stating that the Steelers should still look for another option somewhere else, and others thinking he was poised to have a breakout season.
Notably, that kind of duality reminds Bill Simmons of a former controversial QB: Eli Manning.
Bill Simmons compares Kenny Pickett to Eli Manning: “It’s an incredible comparison. The throw he had to Pickens at the end of the Ravens game is the most Eli moment ever that Eli wasn’t involved in. It’s very similar to an Eli thing in that, the teammates love Eli, they trusted…
— Blitzburgh (@Blitz_Burgh) October 15, 2023
According to Blitzburgh, the famous pundit stated that one of Pickett’s throws to Pickens reminded him of Manning, which led him to think that perhaps he’s the new Eli.
Simmons explained the similarities by stating that Pickett’s teammates trust him and laud him and he would come through when they needed him the most, even though you couldn’t make a case for him actually being a good quarterback when you watched the tape.
So far, that could be a fair comparison.
Pickett has alternated great throws with some head-scratching moments, but all young quarterbacks go through growing pains.
He seems to have full confidence of the locker room, the organization, and HC Mike Tomlin, and that also speaks volumes of his work ethic.
Also, even if Eli was never a superstar by any means, he did lead his team to two Super Bowl wins, and the Steelers would take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday.