Sports

Terry Bradshaw: Steelers could make ‘huge mistake’

Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw is not among those who are in favor of the team trading for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields this offseason. In fact, Bradshaw went as far as to say it would be a “huge mistake” on Thursday during an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show.”

Said Bradshaw: “They’re going to beat [Kenny] Pickett up and they’re going to want to trade for Fields in Chicago. I say that’s a huge mistake. You don’t need Fields. Stay with what you got. Just build him up. Get him another receiver. Get him another explosive tight end. have the ability to protect him.” 

The lack of development from Kenny Pickett, the team’s first-round pick in 2022, as well as the pending free agency of Mason Rudolph, has made the Steelers a popular team to talk about as landing spots for either Fields or Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. The Steelers, however, do not seem as eager to bring in a quarterback to replace Pickett and seem content to only give him somebody to compete with him.

It’s a tricky situation, and a lot of it comes down to not only how much faith the Steelers have in Pickett, but what their expectations are for the 2024 season.

If their goal in 2024 is to seriously compete for a Super Bowl — and the Steelers like to claim that is always their goal — then it is hard to understand their level of confidence in Pickett. He has played in 25 games in the NFL and thrown just 13 touchdown passes. He has been one of the least effective passers in the league. Fields, Wilson or even a surprising splurge on Kirk Cousins in free agency would all be a likely upgrade and get them closer to competing right away.

But if they are looking at 2024 as more of a re-tooling or developmental year, then it might make some sense to see if Pickett can take a step forward in what would almost certainly be a make-or-break season for him in Pittsburgh. 

The Steelers were a playoff team in 2023 and have a lot of pieces that could put them in contention with improved quarterback play. Their defense is a top-10 unit and has one of the league’s best players in outside linebacker T.J. Watt. They have two talented wide receivers in Diontae Johnson and George Pickens, and a big-time tight end in Pat Freiermuth. Their running game took off in the second half of the season with running backs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren and an offensive line that began to take a huge step forward with rookie offensive tackle Broderick Jones in the starting lineup. They also made sweeping changes to their offensive coaching staff with former Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith taking over as the offensive coordinator. They just need better quarterback play to bring it all together. 

Some see Fields as a potential player who can do that. Bradshaw, one of the most prominent and successful players in franchise history, does not. 




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