Steelers News

Kenny Pickett Eyeing Climb Up Depth Chart Heading Into Latrobe: ‘I Just Love Playing’

The Pittsburgh Steelers declared their intentions as soon as they used their first-round draft pick on Kenny Pickett. He would be their quarterback of the future. What is yet to be determined is when precisely that future would begin, with Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph also on the roster this summer.

The rookie spent OTAs and minicamp working as the third-string arm, as the coaching staff intended, but even head coach Mike Tomlin made it clear soon after he was drafted that their intention was to give him an opportunity to compete for the starting job. That’s what his focus is heading into training camp, he said on the Perfect Thursday podcast, working his way up the depth chart.

I just love playing, so it’s just, you’re playing football”, he told hosts Jim Medure and Jake Zilinskas. “And I have great guys on our roster. Our team is pretty tight already. It’s been a lot of fun. I know camp in Latrobe and being back in dorms will definitely be an experience. I just hope there’s some AC in there and we’ll be good to go”.

Pickett’s will be the first rookie class that actually gets to go to Latrobe since 2019, as the Steelers were forced to hold the past two training camps at their usual facilities. While they could have just practiced at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, though, they decided to actually work inside of Heinz Field.

But now Pickett will get the full Steelers training camp experience, even if that means living in dorms again for a few weeks. I’m sure he cares less about where he rests his head than he does about where he rests on the depth chart.

But he sees the progress that he has made, and that the team has made. He talked about feeling as though he has a good grip on the offense already, and the locker room is beginning to grow as a group into that all-important whole greater than the sum of its parts that is camaraderie.

Pittsburgh added two wide receivers in his class, George Pickens in the second round and Calvin Austin III in the fourth, with whom he has gotten in a lot of work. Once training camp begins, though, he should see more time with first- and second-string personnel as the coaching staff gives him a look as their possible starter.

Up to now, Trubisky has been running the offense as the starter, and he is the presumptive favorite to actually start once the regular season begins. Pickett will make a push for that job, but either way, his ultimate goal is winning as a team, and if his function to start out with is to be the backup, it’s a role that he’ll embrace and execute to the best of his ability until his opportunity arrives.

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