If you’re a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, you’re probably wanting the team to do one of two things at this point: 1) Lose out and get a top draft pick in 2023, or 2) Win out for a shot at the AFC North Title and a chance at the playoffs. At 3-7, Mike Tomlin and his team find themselves in unfamiliar territory, unfortunately facing a losing record by season’s end for the first time since 2003. To make a run, a lot will be asked of rookie quarterback, Kenny Pickett, who former Steelers All-Pro wide receiver, Antonio Brown, has some interesting advice for.
The outlandish perennial Pro Bowler was known for his consistent and dominant play, most memorably, with future Hall of Fame quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Their connection was unreal, as they’ll go down as one of the NFL’s best QB-WR duo of all-time. Brown had 804 catches for 10,768 yards and scored 78 touchdowns in 120 games with Roethlisberger in his career. However, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the pair, as Roethlisberger, at times, had to trust the former Central Michigan University standout when odds were stacked against them. This is something that Brown wishes all QB’s throughout the NFL would do more of.
One thing bout Big Ben he would give me a chance in double coverage
These Qs now going through to much progression
— AB (@AB84) November 21, 2022
The jury is still out on whether or not Brown is specifically talking about Pickett, or just QB’s across the league in general. In a somewhat joking manner, he’s also recently tweeted about Las Vegas Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr, as well as wide receiver, Davante Adams. Not to mention the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning. But as bizarre as Brown’s suggestion is coming across, does he have a point? Although not perfect, Pickett continues to improve and show promise in his young career. And with the emergence of rookie wide receiver, George Pickens, Pickett may actually have a dynamic enough target in the Alabama standout to make Brown sound like a genius.
Check out Pickett’s passing chart against the Cincinnati Bengals from Sunday, presented by the NFL’s Next Gen Stats metrics:
For the majority of that game, Pickett was looking at a single coverage on the outside with a two-deep safety look over the top. Brown’s point is that he and Roethlisberger saw that same look countless times throughout their playing days, but that didn’t stop Roethlisberger from pulling the trigger. After Sunday’s game, wide receiver, Diontae Johnson expressed his frustrations about not receiving the ball enough. Pickett was quoted saying:
“With the coverage they were playing, I felt like they weren’t letting Diontae get singled up,” Pickett said.
Maybe this is the exact instance Brown is referring to. Just because someone might be double teamed, doesn’t mean they’re not open.
Pickens is coming off one of the best games of his young career, finishing Sunday with 4 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown (his second receiving touchdown of the year). The talent is obviously there, and I think all of Steeler Nation is ready to see more.
What do yinz think? I can’t imagine the heat that this young rookie quarterback would take if he all of a sudden started throwing into double coverage. If it meant more deep balls and more targets to Pickens however, would it be worth it? It surely worked for Brown and Roethlisberger. Make sure to click to comment below!