The idea of "any given Sunday" is what makes the NFL so compelling.

Any one team can beat another, and that means at this stage of the season, with the first snap still to be taken, every team can have Super Bowl aspirations.

Sort of.

The Cincinnati Bengals, for example, may have been slightly surprising contenders in 2021, but there remain some teams whose title hopes are so remote as to be non-existent.

For some, this is because they have missed their shot at glory in recent years; for others, the plan is to challenge in seasons to come.

So, this leads us to draw up a preseason tier system, ranking all 32 teams by their Super Bowl windows with the help of Stats Perform AI predictions...

Nowhere near

This is unlikely to be a season to remember for the teams grouped in this category, for a variety of reasons.

The Houston Texans won the AFC South in 2018 and 2019, but the Deshaun Watson saga and two down years have them looking at a rebuild, with the data forecasting just 4.8 wins this year. That at least ranks them ahead of the Atlanta Falcons (3.6 projected wins) and the New York Giants (4.2), while the Texans did gain draft assets in the Watson trade.

The Chicago Bears are the fourth and final team projected to earn fewer than six wins (4.9), with second-year quarterback Justin Fields receiving little help on offense and playing behind an offensive line ranked 31st in pass protection.

Meanwhile, the Washington Commanders rank 31st in terms of skill players – better only than the Falcons – with faith in Carson Wentz long since having diminished. In Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, the Carolina Panthers have two high-draft-pick QBs unlikely to trouble the postseason. The New York Jets are in a similar boat, even if Zach Wilson is still young.

The Detroit Lions might argue they do not deserve to keep such company after a 3-3 finish to last season, but nobody could seriously argue they are title contenders.

Entering contention

If that first group was a mixed bag, so too is the second.

Anyone who has paid any attention to the New England Patriots' preseason would suggest they are very fortunate to be given any hope of success in the near future, but they finished with 10 wins in 2021 – even if that number is projected to shrink to 7.7. Despite a trade for Tyreek Hill, that still ranks the Patriots comfortably ahead of the Miami Dolphins (7.0), although the losing team in their Week 1 meeting will face a long slog of a season.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Philadelphia Eagles are forecast to have 11.9 wins – the second-most in the NFL – after a very strong offseason. But Jalen Hurts, for now, is unproven in the postseason, so Philly fans may have to stay patient.

The San Francisco 49ers are even younger at QB after promoting Trey Lance to a starting role, which explains why the prediction model looks so unfavourably on a team many consider contenders right now. Just 7.1 projected wins speaks to the potentially low floor Lance brings.

NFC West rivals the Arizona Cardinals have to be considered among this group of future hopefuls, with Kyler Murray hugely talented and now committed long term but frustratingly inconsistent, while the Jacksonville Jaguars will hope Trevor Lawrence can follow in the footsteps of the Bengals' Joe Burrow – the number one pick the year before him.

The Los Angeles Chargers, with 9.8 projected wins, have Justin Herbert to lead their charge, while the Cleveland Browns might have been contenders already if not for Watson's suspension, which is enough to limit them to a still strong 9.3-win forecast.

In their prime

The Chargers may have Herbert, but they also have three division rivals who intend to win and intend to win now. Indeed, all four AFC West teams rank in the top half of the league in terms of projected wins, with the Chargers second – behind the Kansas City Chiefs (11.5) and just ahead of the Denver Broncos (9.7) and the Las Vegas Raiders (9.2).

The Chiefs lead the AFC in this regard, although their playoff win over the Buffalo Bills last season came down to a coin flip, and the two are set to be similarly tough to separate this year. Buffalo are down for 11.1 wins.

The two teams coming off a Super Bowl run are of course prominent among the contenders, even if the model has far greater optimism for a Los Angeles Rams repeat than for another Bengals charge. The Rams are backed for a league-leading 12.4 wins and given a 15.3 per cent shot at defending their title, while the Bengals are actually projected to dip below .500 with 8.2 wins.

The Bengals' route to the Super Bowl will be complicated not just by the AFC West and the Bills but also by any return to form for the fit-again Lamar Jackson's Baltimore Ravens, who are counted among nine teams on course for 10 or more wins (10.4).

Also in that group are NFC pair the Dallas Cowboys (11.0) and the Minnesota Vikings (10.9), who may not even be the best teams in their divisions but might be nearing a point when they must seriously challenge or start again, which brings us to...

Last chance saloon

As long as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are the QBs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers, those teams are in with a chance. The question is how long that will remain the case.

Brady is 45, briefly retired this offseason and then missed a chunk of the preseason. Rodgers is 38, has repeatedly been linked with a move away from Green Bay and lost top target Davante Adams ahead of the new season. Still, the Buccaneers rank eighth for projected wins (10.7), with the Packers up in third (11.5).

They are not the only ageing teams in the NFL, however.

The Indianapolis Colts hope they have upgraded in moving from Wentz to Matt Ryan, yet the former MVP is now 37 and last played in the postseason in 2017 – when Wentz's Eagles took the title.

Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill is a little younger at 34, but of greater concern would be Derrick Henry's durability after the injury that limited to eight games last regular season. The Titans need to make the most of any seasons they have left of the superstar running back going at full tilt.

Missed their chance

Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees won Super Bowls with the Seattle Seahawks, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints respectively, but with all three having now moved on, it is difficult to see those teams plotting a path to the title.

For the Seahawks and the Steelers, this will be their first year without their stalwart QBs, even if things had already gone stale in 2021. Wilson dipped below the .500 mark for a season for the first time in his career, while Pittsburgh were attempting to stay competitive in spite of Roethlisberger rather than because of him.

Still, with both gone – Wilson to Denver and Roethlisberger to retirement – there is a void under center that has not been suitably filled. Seattle also rank 32nd in pass protection, likely leaving Geno Smith hopelessly exposed.

The Saints have had another 12 months to come to terms with Brees' exit, albeit they spent it juggling Jameis Winston, Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill at QB. Winston's season-ending injury doomed the Saints' hopes of contention last year, and New Orleans' outlook for 9.5 wins with the entertaining but erratic former number one pick is at least far more positive than that of the Seahawks (6.2) or the Steelers (7.0).

Regardless, each of these three teams have provided an example in how not to do succession planning. They all could have won additional honours with their departed veterans and now face long waits for further title tilts.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has finally broken his silence regarding the team’s quarterback competition.

Mitch Trubisky will be the Steelers’ starter Sunday when they open the season at the Cincinnati Bengals, Tomlin confirmed in a press conference on Tuesday, a day after Trubisky was voted one of the team’s five captains.

"We're just really comfortable with what Mitch has shown us," Tomlin said. "He's a guy that came to us with franchise quarterback experience. He's comfortable in those shoes. He's been the focal point of a football team, in the organization before. He's had success in doing so.

"Like I mentioned when we acquired him, he took the Bears to the playoffs two out of four years. He has a winning record as a starting quarterback. Those things were attractive to us.

"His athleticism and mobility were attractive to us. He took care of the football in-stadium, all our quarterbacks did."

Trubisky won the job over 2022 first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett, who was confirmed to be the number two option. Mason Rudolph, who is entering his fourth season in Pittsburgh, is listed third on the depth chart.

The number two overall pick in 2016 by the Chicago Bears, Trubisky spent last season backing up Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills and signed a two-year, $14 million deal with the Steelers this offseason after the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger.

A little over a month after signing Trubisky, the Steelers used the number 20 overall pick on Pickett, who played at the University of Pittsburgh.

While it is no surprise to see the Steelers starting the more experience quarterback to start the season, many pundits and Steelers fans alike wonder if Pickett’s ascension is only a matter of time.

"I thought [Pickett’s} acceleration of development really took off once we stepped into stadiums," Tomlin said. "And once we started stepping into stadiums, his decision-making – the fluidity of it – his competitive spirit, his pinpoint accuracy, all of those things I thought really came to the forefront. I thought that he grew – and grew at a really fast pace once we got into stadiums.

"And I also think it's reasonable to expect that growth and development to continue as we push into the regular season."

Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt and the Pittsburgh Steelers' number-one receiver Diontae Johnson were both forced to leave their side's 19-9 preseason win against the Detroit Lions on Sunday due to injury concerns.

Watt appeared to suffer a knee injury when he was on the receiving end of a cut-block from Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson in the second quarter. He remained in the game for the immediate aftermath, before getting pulled shortly after.

Johnson landed awkwardly on his left shoulder after pulling down a 38-yard reception from Mitch Trubisky, and after being evaluated in the medical tent, he also took no further part in the game.

Despite neither player returning to the field, head coach Mike Tomlin said there is "no long-term concern at the moment" on the broadcast, and "if this is a regular-season game, we may see them back in this game".

Watt is in the first season of his four-year, $112million contract extension, while Johnson signed a two-year extension earlier this month worth up to $39.5m.

Both of the Steelers' contenders for the starting quarterback role performed well in the win, as Trubisky completed 15-of-19 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown, while first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett went 10-for-14 for 90 yards. Neither quarterback committed a turnover.

T.J. Watt was voted the NFL's best defensive player last season but the Pittsburgh Steelers' pass-rushing demon still feels he has a long way to go before being considered the greatest player in his own family.

Speaking to former NFL linebacker Channing Crowder on The Pivot podcast, Watt said his accomplishments – which include tying a league record for sacks in a season in 2021 – still pale in comparison to those of his older brother J.J., a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year award recipient.

Though his most recent seasons have often been marred by injuries, J.J. Watt became the first player in NFL history to earn Defensive Player of the Year honours three times in a four-year span when he did so in 2012, 2014 and 2015. That feat has since been matched by Los Angeles Rams superstar Aaron Donald, whose run was ended by the younger Watt's superlative 2021 campaign in which he recorded 22.5 sacks. 

"I want people to understand how great my brother truly was in his prime," T.J. Watt said. "I think it gets lost today, and I know he'd be upset if I said this, but I think it truly is. You go back, and you look, you watch the film, the guy was frickin' unstoppable. Absolutely unstoppable.

"I think I'm too early in my career to compare myself to him at the moment, honestly."

T.J. Watt does compare favourably with his sibling in at least one important category, as his 72 career sacks are the third most in league history of any player through his first five seasons since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

J.J. Watt ranks second on that list with 74.5, trailing only Hall of Famer Reggie White's 81.

The elder Watt, now a member of the Arizona Cardinals after spending 10 of his first 11 seasons with the Houston Texans, has recorded only one double-digit sack season since 2016 – mainly because he has had trouble staying on the field. The 33-year-old has been limited to eight games or fewer four times in that six-year stretch.

"I think people need to go back and look at that," T.J. Watt said about his brother's past dominance. "The guy was doing incredible things for four or five years, and I think he can still play at a high level."

T.J. Watt enters this season with a chance to make some history of his own after producing at least 13 sacks in each of the last four years. The only player with a streak that long since 1982 is White, who did it from 1985-88 and again from 1990-93.

All three Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks threw at least one touchdown pass in Saturday’s preseason opener, but rookie Kenny Pickett had the most impressive performance. 

Pickett threw for a pair of touchdowns, including a 24-yarder to Tyler Vaughns with three seconds remaining to lift the Steelers to a 32-25 victory over the visiting Seattle Seahawks. 

Pickett, the 20th overall selection in this year’s draft out of Pittsburgh, is competing with Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph to replace retired two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger as Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback. He certainly did nothing to hurt his chances on Saturday. 

He played the entire second half and led a seven-play, 75-yard drive on his opening possession, completing all five of his passes, culminating in a three-yard TD pass to Jaylen Warren.  

His winning throw in the waning seconds capped a five-play, 43-yard drive. Pickett finished 13-of-15 for 95 yards with two scores, and completed 10 consecutive passes at one point.  

Trubisky, who spent last season as Josh Allen’s backup in Buffalo, led the Steelers to a TD on the opening possession with a 90-yard drive. He was four-of-seven for 63 yards, connecting with Gunner Olszewski on a 13-yard scoring strike. 

Rudolph, Roethlisberger’s backup the past four seasons, led touchdown and field goal drives on the first two of his three possessions. His 26-yard TD pass to exciting rookie George Pickens gave the Steelers a 14-0 lead. Rudolph was nine-of-15 for 93 yards.  

Diontae Johnson arrived at the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp on time but had been sitting out practices while seeking a new contract. 

He will now be reporting to practice after signing an extension with the Steelers with a new three-year contract on Thursday. 

The 26-year-old Johnson was entering the final season of his rookie deal, and in his new contract he’ll be paid $36.71million over the next two years, according to NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo. 

"I felt it in my gut it was the right move for me and my family," Johnson said. "I am just glad to get back to work. I love being a Steeler. I love it here. Just being around my teammates, the atmosphere, the energy they show every day. I feel like I made the right choice to continue to be here for a long time." 

The extension includes $27million guaranteed, and Johnson will be able to hit free agency in 2025, giving him an opportunity to sign another big deal when he’s still in his prime if he’s able to replicate the success he enjoyed last season. 

Johnson had a career year in 2021, tying for fifth in the NFL in receptions (107, along with Mark Andrews) and ranking 10th in receiving yards (1,161) while hauling in eight touchdown receptions to earn a Pro Bowl selection. 

Selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft, Johnson has 254 career receptions – the most for anyone drafted in 2019 – for 2,767 yards and 20 touchdowns. 

Finalising a new deal early in camp was important for the Steelers as it will give Johnson time to work on his chemistry with the three quarterbacks vying for the starting job in Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett following the retirement of future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger. 

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger acknowledged that he should have done a better job of articulating his comments after offending his old team-mate Cam Heyward.

Last week in an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger said one of the reasons the Steelers faltered in the playoffs in the last few seasons was because young players today are more focused on personal goals rather than team goals.

"I feel like the game has changed," he said. "I feel like the people have changed in a sense. Maybe it's because I got spoiled when I came in. The team was so important. It was all about the team.

"Now, it's about me and this, that and the other. I might be standing on a soapbox a little bit, but that's my biggest takeaway from when I started to the end. It turned from a team-first to a me-type attitude. It was hard."

Those comments did not sit well with Heyward, a team-mate of Roethlisberger from 2011 until the future Hall of Fame quarterback retired following the 2021 season.

"We have a lot of young players that come from different backgrounds, have experienced different things from what others or I may have experienced," Heyward said on his own Not Just Football podcast on Wednesday. "That doesn't make them selfish or more of a me-type attitude. There are a lot more team-first guys than me-type attitude. I took offense to that."

On Thursday, Roethlisberger walked back on his comments.

"I probably should've been more detailed, more specific," Roethlisberger told 102.5 DVE in Pittsburgh. "It's not the majority of guys are that way."

The 40-year-old Roethlisberger played for the Steelers for his entire 18-year career in the NFL, leading the franchise to a pair of Super Bowl championships, eight AFC North Division titles and 12 playoff berths.

However, much of that success came in the first half of Roethlisberger's career, as Pittsburgh have not won a playoff game since the 2016 season, losing its last three postseason appearances.

"I get Cam supporting his team-mates," Roethlisberger said. "I wasn't trying to bash anyone specifically, I was just making a broad stroke comment. I agree with him and I should've been more clear. The majority of guys on that team are team-first guys."

The Steelers opened camp on Wednesday ushering in a new era with Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett competing to replace the retired Roethlisberger.

After leading the NFL in touches during a strong rookie season, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris is ready for another heavy workload – even a historic one - if it leads to another trip to the playoffs.

"I can get 500," Harris said in an interview on The Rich Eisen Show. "If I get 500 carries, as long as we're winning, it doesn't really matter."

Harris accumulated 381 touches during the 2021 regular season, the most by a rookie since Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson's 398 in 2001. The Pro Bowler said he's prepared to increase that total if again called upon to be the focal point of an offense that will be breaking in a new starting quarterback following the offseason retirement of franchise icon Ben Roethlisberger.

"The more carries you get, the better you are," Harris said. "You get more of a feel for the game, you get an understanding of how the defense is playing. Obviously, you wear them down."

Harris' quick transition to the NFL game indeed played a big part in the Steelers reaching the postseason for the sixth time in eight years. Pittsburgh went 6-0-1 when the former Alabama star had 20 or more rushing attempts in a game and was 3-7 when he was under that mark.

The 2021 first-round pick accounted for 29.8 per cent of the Steelers' yards from scrimmage. Only Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (35.4 per cent) and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (29.9 per cent) had a higher share of their team's scrimmage yards last season.

Harris takes great pride in being able to contribute on all three downs in an era where skill players are becoming more specialised, and disputed any notion his heavy usage made him less effective.

"I didn't have an issue with it, it was the media that had an issue with it," he told Eisen. "I told them every game, I was like, 'Man, if this is the way to winning, I can carry the load'. I train to carry loads. It's not something I hadn't done before. I did it in college, high school."

A further increase in responsibility would put Harris in some very select company, as only five players in NFL history have recorded 450 or more touches in a season. Tampa Bay's James Wilder holds the league record of 492, set for the Buccaneers in 1984, while the last to eclipse that threshold was Larry Johnson for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006.

"This is our identity right here," Harris said of the Steelers' run-based approach. "So, let's keep this going on."

Here today, gone tomorrow – or is it tomato?

It's the end of an era in Pittsburgh, as the Steelers announced on Monday their longtime stadium will no longer be called Heinz Field. 

The Steelers will now play in Acrisure Stadium after reaching a 15-year sponsorship deal with the financial tech company. Financial terms were not released. 

"We are excited to partner with Acrisure for the naming rights to our stadium," Steelers President Art Rooney II said. "Acrisure provided us with an opportunity to ensure our stadium continues to be a valuable asset for our fans as well as keeping up with the market value of NFL stadiums."

The name change will take place immediately at the 68,400-seat venue, which had been known as Heinz Field since it opened in 2001. 

In their 21 seasons since its opening, the Steelers have won two Super Bowls, 10 division titles and made the playoffs 14 times. In this span, only the New England Patriots (80.5) and Green Bay Packers (73.8) have achieved a higher home winning percentage than Pittsburgh's 72.8 (122-45-2). 

Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi will continue his tour of the AFC North by signing a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

Ogunjobi spent his first four seasons with the Cleveland Browns before recording a career-high seven sacks, a team-high 12 tackles for loss and 49 total tackles last season for the Cincinnati Bengals.  

This is the second time this offseason that Ogunjobi has agreed to a free-agent contract, signing a reported three-year, $40.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears in March before that deal fell through when he failed his physical.  

Ogunjobi started 16 games last season for the Bengals but suffered a season-ending right foot injury during a Wild Card round victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Ogunjobi will replace the retired Stephon Tuitt as the third starter on the Steelers' defensive line, along with Cameron Heyward and Tyson Alualu.

He should help Pittsburgh improve a run defense that finished 32nd in the NFL last season in rushing yards allowed and 32nd in rushing yards per attempt. 

Minkah Fitzpatrick says he feels "no pressure" of becoming the highest-paid safety in NFL history.

The Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday announced that the 25-year-old has agreed to a four-year contract worth in excess of $73.6million, with $36m guaranteed.

Fitzpatrick is confident he is worth his huge salary and will repay the Steelers with his performances.

He said: "I think I'm one of the best at what I do. So obviously, you would like to be paid in that way and represented in that way.

"In a week from now or a year from now, somebody's obviously gonna pass it up, but you always want to raise the bar for the guys behind you, want to raise the bar for the people in our locker room.

"I think Mr. Rooney and [general manager] Omar [Khan], they see the work that I put in, and obviously my play on the field reflects that. They're willing to make me that, and I'm appreciative."

He added: "Because I've done it, there's no pressure. That's the standard that I hold myself to day in and day out."

Fitzpatrick felt it was important to get his future resolved before training camp starts next month.

He said: "It was important. I wanted to be out there with my team-mates, practicing and competing.

"The thing I appreciate the most about this organisation is its commitment to winning. The season I came here, they lost their Hall of Fame QB. They could've tanked. But they went out, got me, and added some other guys. It was a season about winning."

A first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2018, Fitzpatrick was traded to the Steelers a year later, having expressed dissatisfaction with his role on the Dolphins' defense.

He was named a first-team All-Pro in 2019 and again two years ago and has 11 interceptions since the start of the 2019 campaign.

Only three safeties, Justin Simmons (14), Quandre Diggs (13) and Tyrann Mathieu (13) have registered more interceptions in that time.

He has also racked up 27 pass breakups, tied for seventh-most in the NFL, during that period.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed on a four-year contract extension with Minkah Fitzpatrick to make him the highest-paid safety in NFL history.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the deal, which was confirmed by Fitzpatrick's representatives, will pay him over $18.4million annually.

Fitzpatrick will receive $36million in guaranteed money at signing.

A first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2018, Fitzpatrick was traded to the Steelers a year later, having expressed dissatisfaction with his role on the Dolphins' defense.

Since then, he has established himself as one of the premier safeties in the NFL.

Fitzpatrick was named a first-team All-Pro in 2019 and 2020 and has 11 interceptions since the start of the 2019 campaign.

Only three safeties, Justin Simmons (14), Quandre Diggs (13) and Tyrann Mathieu (13) have registered more interceptions in that time.

He has also racked up 27 pass breakups, tied for seventh-most in the NFL, during that span.

The Pittsburgh Steelers may have found their long-term answer at quarterback in this year's draft, but the future may not be now just yet for rookie Kenny Pickett.

Mitch Trubisky has taken the majority of reps with the first-team offense during the Steelers' offseason training activities and the mandatory mini-camp that began Tuesday, and the five-year veteran told reporters he is operating with the mindset he will be the starting quarterback when Pittsburgh open the season at the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals on September 11. 

"I'm preparing to be the starter," Trubisky said. "I feel like no matter what position you're in, you should prepare [that way].

"I wouldn't read too much into [the first-team snaps], but I'm getting a lot of good reps and I'm feeling really comfortable in the offense.

"I like where we're at right now and I feel very confident."

With 50 career starts under his belt, Trubisky is the most experienced of the three quarterbacks vying to be the successor to the now retired Ben Roethlisberger, a group that includes Pickett – the former University of Pittsburgh standout taken with the 20th overall pick – and holdover Mason Rudolph.

And with the Steelers having no immediate plans to rebuild following a second consecutive playoff appearance in 2021, the 27-year-old seems to have the inside track at opening the post-Roethlisberger era under center.

The opportunity to start again played a large role in Trubisky's decision to join the Steelers on a two-year, $14million contract in March.

He went 29-21 over four seasons with the Chicago Bears from 2017 to 2020 and helped the team to two playoff appearances during that period, but he did not have his fifth-year option picked up and spent last season as a backup to Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills.

Trubisky said the transition to a new offense and new team-mates has so far gone smoothly.

"I thought we've gotten better every day," he said. "I feel like I'm throwing the ball really well. We've put a lot in and I think the guys have handled it well. We're executing at a pretty high level right now."

While Trubisky saw Pittsburgh as a spot to potentially reestablish himself as a viable NFL starter, the Steelers are hoping the 2017 number two overall pick's arm strength is a good fit for an offense that often struggled generating big passing plays with the ageing Roethlisberger.

Pittsburgh's 6.05 yards per pass attempt in 2021 ranked 30th in the league, trailing only the also-ran Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants.

"He's been one of the quarterbacks to release it, for sure," rookie wide receiver George Pickens said. "Yeah, he's been launching it."

The Pittsburgh Steelers have hired Omar Khan as their new general manager.

Khan, who was most recently Pittsburgh's vice president of football and business administration, has worked for the Steelers for 21 years.

He replaces long-time GM Kevin Colbert, who in January announced his decision to step down after the 2022 NFL Draft.

"I am extremely excited for this opportunity to be the general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers," said Khan.

"I would like to thank Art Rooney II, Mike Tomlin, and Kevin Colbert for their support throughout this process.

"I am ready for this challenge and grateful to continue the success we have had on the field during my first 21 years.

"I look forward to completing our football operations staff and working tirelessly to build another championship football team for Steelers Nation and our community."


Kenny Pickett will get to stay in Pittsburgh, after being selected by the Steelers with the 20th overall pick.

No quarterbacks came off the board in the first 19 picks as defensive players and wide receivers dominated the headlines.

And, given the freedom to choose from what most considered to be an uninspiring litter at quarterback, the Steelers went with a player who already called Heinz Field home.

Pickett excelled in his final year playing for the University of Pittsburgh, leading the Panthers to an 11-3 record and an ACC title.

He completed 67.2 per cent of his passes for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

Arguably the most pro-ready quarterback in the class, Pickett delivered an accurate well-thrown ball on 82.70 percent of his passes last season, the highest ratio of anyone in the draft, according to Stats Perform data. His pickable pass rate of 2.11 percent was also best in class.

Pickett excels at throwing with timing and anticipation, frequently hitting his receivers in stride to maximise their potential to create yards after the catch.

He can make throws with pressure in his face and moves well in the pocket to escape pressure while also succeeding at breaking structure and creating with his legs.

A lack of elite arm strength to make deep throws outside the numbers is the concern with Pickett, but the Steelers were clearly not overly worried about that deficiency, catapulting him into a likely quarterback competition with Mitchell Trubisky in the first year of the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.

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