Steelers' Jaylen Warren Jabs Kenny Pickett, Praises New QBs

Jaylen Warren says the Pittsburgh Steelers have better leadership in the quarterbacks room.
Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8)  warms
Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) warms / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers were aggressive this offseason, not only reimagining their offensive scheme by bringing in Arthur Smith as the new offensive coordinator, but adding two new quarterbacks as well.

Both of those moves are already paying dividends for the Steelers, according to running back Jaylen Warren. He was highly complimentary of their leadership during an appearance on Not Just Football with Cam Heyward live from the Steelers' draft party last weekend.

"It's good. It's a night and day difference, I would say, with their leadership," Warren said. "They bring a lot, they help out, they tell us how to run the route and they're really on us when we don't run it a certain way. They're big on details, just what we preach and it helps a lot."

Warren's statement speaks just as much to the Steelers' current quarterback situation as it does the one from last season. Kenny Pickett, who started most of the season, left Pittsburgh amid rumors that team management had not been pleased with his attitude following the addition of Russell Willson. Those concerns were connected to an alleged incident in Week 15 of last season, when reports emerged that Pickett refused to dress as the emergency third quarterback for a road trip to Seattle when he was coming off an ankle injury. Pickett denied those reports.

In any event, the Steelers shipped Pickett off to Philadelphia, where he'll get a fresh start as the backup to incumbent starter Jalen Hurts. He's closer to home and gets to reinvent a career that never got off the ground in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, the Steelers acquired draft capital that turned into rookie linebacker Payton Wilson, widely considered to be one of the steals of the draft this year.

The split between Pickett and the Steelers appears to be working out best for everyone.

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Stephen Thompson


Stephen Thompson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Pitt in April 2022 after spending four years as a sports writer and editor at The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's independent, student-run newspaper. He primarily worked the Pitt men's basketball beat, and filled in on coverage of football, volleyball, softball, gymnastics and lacrosse, in addition to other sports as needed. His work at The Pitt News has won awards from the Pennsylvania News Media Association and Associated College Press. During the spring and summer of 2021, Stephen interned for Pittsburgh Sports Now, covering baseball in western Pennsylvania. Hailing from Washington D.C., family ties have cultivated a love of Boston's professional teams and Pitt athletics, and a fascination with sports in general.