Ryan Clark Stands Firm on Kenny Pickett Stance: 'I Don’t Duck'

Analyst Sparks Debate Over Steelers' Quarterback Future.

by Nouman Rasool
Ryan Clark Stands Firm on Kenny Pickett Stance: 'I Don’t Duck'
© Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for #Culinary Kickoff

Ryan Clark, the former NFL safety turned analyst, found himself in the center of a heated debate on social media after a fan accused him of flipping his stance on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. Initially, Clark lauded Pickett on his podcast for his potential and skill set.

However, his tone shifted during an appearance on ESPN's "Get Up," where he voiced criticisms about the young signal-caller's performance. In his defense, Clark articulated his belief in the Steelers' tradition of building through the draft and developing talent, as opposed to relying heavily on free agency to address key roster needs.

Nonetheless, he proposed that Pittsburgh should consider adding a seasoned quarterback to their ranks through free agency. Clark argued that such a move would not only push Pickett to excel but also ensure the team remains competitive.

Should a veteran outperform Pickett, it would signal the team's commitment to immediate improvement; conversely, if Pickett retains his starting role, it would confirm the Steelers' confidence in their first-round investment.

Clark Questions Pickett's Leadership

Despite Clark's initial support, he expressed reservations about Pickett's capacity to uphold the lofty expectations synonymous with the Steelers' storied franchise. He questioned whether Pickett has the leadership and talent to propel Pittsburgh's offense to a championship-caliber level.

Clark stressed the importance of having a definitive leader at quarterback, especially if Pickett falls short of the franchise's aspirations. A critique emerged from a fan who pointed out Clark's prior praise of Pickett, branding him hypocritical.

In response, Clark clarified that his opinions are subject to change with the league's evolving dynamics and Pickett's progression. He acknowledged that should Pickett demonstrate marked improvement in the forthcoming season, he would not hesitate to commend the quarterback once more.

However, Clark maintained that based on Pickett's rookie year performance, the quarterback had yet to prove he deserves unwavering support. Clark concluded by highlighting the potential benefits of exploring veteran quarterbacks in free agency, pointing out that there are several available candidates with more proven track records than Pickett.

Such a strategic move could offer the Steelers a more stable and experienced option under center, ensuring the team's competitive edge in the pursuit of future championships. This nuanced stance from Clark reflects the complexity of team building in the NFL and the ongoing debate about how best to develop and evaluate quarterback talent.