Aditi Kinkhabwala: ‘Mismanagement’ of Kenny Pickett falls on Mike Tomlin

Kenny Pickett came into the NFL in an impossible situation. The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback was forced to work with offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who had zero experience in the pros before being promoted to the role one year prior.

So, a guy with no NFL experience took direction from a guy with only one more year than he had. Not ideal.

Pickett could only do what he needed — prepare for his rookie season as if he were the starter. Only Tomlin made that task a difficult one, butchering the quarterback plan from day one. It was his first foray into looking for a starting quarterback, and it showed. The “competition” that ensued heading into training camp was a sham. It was always Mitch Trubisky‘s job to lose, depriving Pickett of valuable reps and giving him no opportunity to build rapport with his receivers or offensive line.

Three weeks into his rookie season, Pickett was thrown to the wolves and expected to lead the team without any real offseason experience.

If Tomlin had given the reins to Pickett the moment he was drafted, we could be seeing a different result. Instead, he mismanaged the situation from the get-go and did so with a coordinator unworthy of his job.

“When you talk about personnel and mismanagement of personnel and development of personnel, that is also on the head coach,” CBS Sports’ Aditi Kinkhabwala said on former Steeler guard Trai Essex’s podcast “Pod Me Up.”

“You can sit here and say look at what he did with these players and certain things, but you can also say Matt Canada is at his feet. And entrusting a young quarterback to an offensive coordinator who had no experience and one could argue no standing to be an offensive coordinator in the National Football League, well ok, so chicken or egg?”

Tomlin made his bed. Now he has to lie in it. But not for long.

He has a daunting task ahead — the most critical hire in his 17 years with the team — find a high-caliber offensive coordinator who can attempt to mold Pickett into the quarterback they thought he could be as a first-round draft pick.

Hopefully, it’s not too late.

Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire