Steelers' Pickett: No hard feelings toward 'honest' Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett said he has no issues with franchise legend Ben Roethlisberger saying he initially didn't want him to succeed in the NFL.
"He's honest and out front about it," Pickett said Tuesday, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "He's a fan now, and he's pulling for us. It was pretty cool to hear him say that and to be at his house and to meet his kids and his wife and get to know him a little bit better. We'll continue to build that relationship, and I'll reach out if I have any questions. I'm excited to go into Year 2 with another guy in my corner pulling for me."
Roethlisberger, who started 247 games and won two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh from 2004-21, recently told Pickett on his podcast "Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger" that he didn't want him to do well right off the bat but found himself "rooting more and more" for the then-rookie QB as the season progressed. Roethlisberger retired in January 2022, months before the Steelers drafted Pickett 20th overall.
Pickett made his NFL debut in Week 4 of last season before starting the following game. The 24-year-old finished the campaign with a 63% completion rate to go along with 2,404 yards and seven touchdowns against nine interceptions in 13 appearances. He also rushed for 237 yards and three scores.
The Steelers, who went 7-5 with Pickett as the starter, are bringing back Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph to back up Pickett in 2023. After recently signing a contract extension with Pittsburgh, Trubisky showed support for Pickett ahead of the latter's second year in the NFL.
"Anything I could be for Kenny, I'm on board: an extra coach, extra eyes on the field, I'm going to be there for him, and he knows that. I think that's also why they wanted to have me back, to be in that role and help any way I can," Trubisky said, according to ESPN's Brooke Pryor.
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