Joe Thomas, widely regarded as one of the best offensive linemen of all-time, spent his entire 11-year career with the Cleveland Browns. However, that didn’t stop him from lavishing praise on divisional rival Pittsburgh Steelers‘ quarterback Kenny Pickett.
“If I’m a @steelers fan, I’m waking up with an ear to ear grin this morning,” he wrote. “Not because you won the game last night, that was meaningless. No, it’s because @kennypickett10 looks like the real deal.”
He seemed to anticipate many Browns fans being confused by his rave reviews of their rival’s emerging quarterback. Joe Thomas then clarified that while he’ll definitely be rooting against his divisional rival, he foresees a bright future ahead for Kenny Pickett. He listed multiple attributes of Pickett that have given Thomas that impression.
“That doesn’t mean I won’t be cheering against him,” he wrote in a response tweet.
“Looks like he has the qualities u want in a franchise quarterback; leadership, mental toughness, professionalism, big accurate arm, shows up in big moments… Lots of chapters still to be written, but for a rookie I’m impressed.”
Fans React to Joe Thomas’ High Praise of Kenny Pickett
Plenty of fans did react to Joe Thomas showering Pickett with compliments. One Browns fan commented: “Nah he’s Baker level,” referencing their previous quarterback Baker Mayfield.
A Steelers fan replied back, saying they should be lucky for Mayfield’s time there. “Baker’s the best QB you ever had, and the best you’ll ever get.”
Another Browns fan shot back, but their tweet didn’t exactly help their case. “Otto Graham, Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe and Deshaun Watson have all existed.” One Steelers fan pointed out that the first three of those quarterbacks played long ago, and the latter hasn’t played a snap yet.
Pickett has bee viewed as a hometown kid for Pittsburgh despite being born and raised in New Jersey. He initially committed to Temple before switching his commitment to Pittsburgh. He played his entire collegiate career home games in the same stadium he’d later play in as a Steeler.
In his senior year at Pitt, he won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He also broke school records for both single-season yards and touchdowns, also claiming school records for career yards and touchdowns.
He left Pitt 33-16 as a starter, tossing 12,303 passing yards and 81 touchdowns in his career. Pickett also ran for 801 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns in his time with the Pitt Panthers.
In his rookie season, Kenny Pickett has flashed the dual-threat and big-play capabilities that made him a coveted prospect coming out of college.