As the new starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, all of the attention is now on rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett ahead of the Week 5 road game against the Buffalo Bills.
Expectations — and hope — are high for the Steelers’ immediate future throughout the rest of the 2022 season. With added practice reps, Pickett should be able to grow and develop quickly under the watchful eyes of Mike Tomlin. Though Pickett didn’t get any first-team reps in the first four weeks of the season in practice, he was still able to develop a strong bond with Tomlin, the rookie stated Wednesday to reporters, thanks to the competitive juices flowing between the two figures.
According to Pickett, he and Tomlin would go back and forth with each other as Pickett was running the scout team offense against the defense, ribbing each other for good plays and bad plays, really getting competitive with one another, making for entertaining practice sessions.
Now, as the starting quarterback of the Steelers, that competitiveness and bond must become stronger between the two.
“We would go back and forth. If they made a good play, he would chirp at me a little bit. If I made a big play, I wouldn’t hear him too much, so I’d ask if he was at practice that day. It was great,” Pickett stated to reporters Wednesday, according to video via Steelers.com. “It was a great atmosphere to compete in, and he does that on both sides, you know, if it was Card O or Card D, everyone’s really going full tilt, and I felt like some of the harder looks I’ve had have been in practice because of that.
“The game kind of slows down for me when I’m in there, and that’s a huge credit to the Card D and all the effort those guys put in.”
That really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise in regards to Tomlin and how he is in practice. He’s a competitive person, one that breeds a competitive environment the last 16 years in the Steel City. Pickett is the same way. He’s a relentless competitor, one that wants to win, and win often, even in practice reps.
To hear that he and Tomlin would go back and forth and chirp at each other is great to hear, as there’s already a strong relationship between the two, one that will only grow stronger now that Pickett is the starting quarterback in Pittsburgh.