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Steelers GM Omar Khan on the quarterback situation: ‘I have full faith in Kenny’

In Sports
March 01, 2024

Kenny Pickett went through a well-documented sophomore slump last season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback dealt with several injuries that limited him to only 12 games, and he finished the year with only six touchdown passes and four interceptions.

He watched third-string quarterback Mason Rudolph start the final three games of the season, including the final two regular-season games and Pittsburgh’s wild-card game versus the Buffalo Bills.

But on Thursday at the NFL scouting combine, general manager Omar Khan reiterated Pittsburgh’s support of their 2022 first-round pick.

“I have full faith in Kenny,” Khan said via ESPN. “He’s shown us some good things, and obviously there were some issues with the offense.

“I’m excited about the impact that [new offensive coordinator] Arthur Smith’s going to have on him. Arthur’s very optimistic about Kenny and they communicated, and like I said, we will have some strong competition there and we’ll see where it goes. Feel really good about him.”

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett looks on after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett has publicly received support from the front office following a forgettable sophomore campaign. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

Head coach Mike Tomlin, when speaking about the quarterback room, said he’d like to have some competition for Pickett during the offseason.

Pittsburgh’s offense was lethargic with Pickett under center. The most yards he threw for in any game last season was 278. The 25 year old had only one multi-touchdown performance, and the Steelers largest output with him was a 26-point game, when Pittsburgh beat the Cleveland Browns in Week 2.

“We have some work to do,” Khan said. “Competition makes us all better, and that’s regardless of position. I think that’s just in life regardless of what you do.”

Khan passed on answering any questions about whether that competition may come from a trade for available quarterbacks like the Chicago BearsJustin Fields or Denver BroncosRussell Wilson.

“I’m not going to go into details about the conversations that we’ve had,” Khan said, “but I can tell you that I have an obligation to look at every avenue that’s out there to try to make us a better football team.”

Mitchell Tribusky was released and Rudolph currently isn’t under contract, although, he helped his case to be brought back thanks to leading the Steelers’ offense to back-to-back, 30-plus point games.

Rudolph may represent one competitor, as Khan admitted the team would like to retain him.

“We’ve been in communication with his representative,” Khan said, “and he knows we want him back.”

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