The Pittsburgh Steelers offense was sluggish once again in a blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles this week. It’s a frustrating moment for the entire team, which has now fallen to four games under .500 at 2-6.
Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher is afraid that this poor season will have some lingering effects on one of the team’s most important players – rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. He believes the offense is asking too much of the first-year starter.
“You’re transitioning into a new quarterback, okay, and right now I get worried about his confidence because I’ve seen this happen to other quarterbacks,” Cowher said.
Bill Cowher calling out the Steelers handling of Kenny Pickett. Wow. pic.twitter.com/GFsX1T9BUq— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) October 30, 2022
He believes the solution is to ask less of Pickett. Against Philadelphia, he threw 38 times while the Steelers ran just 24 times. Cowher thinks leaning on the run game is better for the Steelers in the short term and Pickett in the long term.
“Take the ball out of his hands,” Cowher said. “Don’t ask him to do as much as you’re asking him to do.”
Cowher said playing ball control will aid a weary defense that is talented, but has been worn down by ling stretches on the field.
“It’s about a philosophy on offense that says ‘Listen, what’s the best part of your team?'” Cowher said. ‘It’s going to be your defensive side. That’s worn down after a period of time. There’s no margin for error there. You have to somehow shorten a game with that quarterback and it goes back to running the ball. I’d put him back there under center. Don’t put him back there to get sacked six times today.”
He added that the big picture with Pickett, the Steelers’ starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, is the most important thing to think about. Cowher thinks all this pressure will stunt Pickett’s career before it really even started.
“What’s in the best interest is to develop this quarterback, who’s your quarterback of the future, without destroying his confidence,” Cowher said.