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LeSean McCoy: ‘I Can’t See’ Difference Between Joe Burrow, Kenny Pickett

LeSean McCoy has been retired from the NFL for only eight months but, if his latest hot take is any indication, the former running back seems to be settling into the world of sports media just fine.

The two-time All-Pro made an appearance on the I AM ATHLETE podcast recently to discuss a number of topics, including his thoughts on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett. Perhaps unsurprisingly, McCoy, who was drafted in 2009 following a standout two-year career at Pittsburgh, had no problem siding with his fellow alum when comparing the young talents.

“If you watched his last year in college, he was going crazy,“ McCoy said in reference to the former Panther. ”I’ll say it like this, Joe Burrow, Kenny Pickett, I can’t see the difference.”

McCoy’s take drew obvious looks of disbelief from show co-hosts Brandon Marshall and Adam “PacMan” Jones, both of whom contested the retired RB’s stance from the jump. After McCoy acknowledged Pickett’s standout senior season, Jones argued comparing him to Burrow wasn’t the same because of a “big difference in colleges” between LSU and Pitt. Marshall, meanwhile, attributed some of the former Panthers QB’s success to the presence of receiver Jordan Addison, the 2021 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner.

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While it’s hard to view a rookie currently on the wrong end of a QB battle in the same light as a player coming off a Super Bowl run, both players boast impressive résumés, to say the least. Not to mention, as McCoy would likely point out, stacking Pickett’s 6’3”, 220-pound frame next to Burrow’s 6’4”, 221 pounds lends itself even more to comparisons.

After winning the Heisman Trophy in legendary fashion and leading LSU to a national championship in 2019, Burrow turned in a promising Year 1 (2,688, 13 touchdowns, five interceptions) before tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 11. Burrow’s remarkable return this past season saw the 2020 No. 1 overall pick win NFL Comeback Player of the Year and lead Cincinnati to Super Bowl LVI in February.

Meanwhile, Pickett, the 20th overall selection in this year’s draft, enters the NFL after ending his collegiate career in a dominant fashion. The ACC Player of the Year compiled 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and seven INTs while finishing third in Heisman voting and propelling Pittsburgh to its first ACC championship in program history.

Regardless of what side of the fence you stand on, it’s hard to argue both players didn’t enter their rookie seasons fitting the profile of a possible franchise savior. Only time will tell, however, if Pickett can live up to those lofty expectations after getting drafted by his hometown team. 

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