Steelers News

Kenny Pickett Working With QB Coach To ‘Marry Together’ Work With Matt Canada’s Offense

There’s nothing a private football coach loves more than talking about one of his best clients. It’s good marketing, if nothing else, and who doesn’t like talking about how their contributions helped what we see in the finished product?

We see private coaches for draft prospects do the media rounds every year when their clients are coming out of the draft, and this year, that included quarterback Kenny Pickett’s private positional coach, Tony Racioppi, with whom he has been working for years—and continues to work.

Indeed, appearing on The Cook and Joe Show earlier this week on 93.7 The Fan, Racioppi said that he is working with Pickett right now, and what he is most excited about their work at the moment is what Pickett brings back from what he’s learned from Matt Canada’s offense and how they can integrate that into what they’ve worked on for the past six years.

“Now we’re gonna take what he did over the OTAs and minicamp”, he said, “and take what Matt Canada wants and kind of marry it together” to the fundamentals and various tools that they have been working on throughout their time together.

Although Pickett has gotten a taste of pro-style offenses at Pitt, this is the first time under Canada that he is actually in a pro-style offense, even if it is pretty new. After all, Canada is only in his third season in the NFL after a long career at the college level, his second as coordinator, and his first year where he can really implement his own system.

Talking about a 90-minute throwing session, Racioppi characterized the use of time as about a 1:2 split between fundamentals and breaking down and refining what Canada’s offense requires of him, preparing him for the footwork and passing concepts necessary to run that system.

While he wouldn’t go into detail, for obvious reasons, he tried to explain a couple of different ways that one would tailor a private workout to the specificities of an offense a player is in. Whether it’s a linear-progression offense or one that uses half-field concepts, it calls for different footwork, eye discipline, etc.

Pickett will need all the preparation he can get over the next few weeks as he gets ready for a starting competition with Mitch Trubisky, a sixth-year veteran quarterback who has 50 career starts under his belt, even if he only threw a handful of passes last season as a backup.

The Steelers believe that both he and Trubisky fit the sort of offense that Canada wants to run, and that’s a big part of the reason that they’re here, so there’s no reason that they should have any fundamental struggles adjusting to the specifics of the scheme they’re in. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that need working on.

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