Kenny Pickett’s natural love for football is a quality that comes through readily when you watch him play. Whether it’s the joy he takes in watching one of his guys make a play or smiling maniacally after delivering a pass while taking a hit, there is no mistaking that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ new quarterback loves his job.
But don’t mess around in his huddle, because that’s where he means business.
After all, that’s where the business takes place. It’s where the plans are made, even if they’re executed at the line of scrimmage. But you can’t execute without knowing the plan first, so for Pickett, it’s very important to take care of that as job one. And his teammates already understand that.
“I just like a clean huddle”, he told reporters yesterday, via the team’s website. “I want everyone to hear the call, I want everyone to be on their Ps and Qs of what they have to do. I don’t want to come back and hear guys say they didn’t hear it because they were talking and stuff like that”.
“I don’t go crazy. I don’t yell and scream”, he added about his demeanor in the huddle. “But when I’m in there, they know the deal and I think we’re going to operate at a higher level that way and everyone will be on the same page”.
One would hope of course that at the NFL level everybody possesses the basic understanding that you have to pay attention in the huddle when the play is being communicated to you. Surely more goes into it than that and more nuances are involved, rather than merely easily distracted teammates.
But it’s still good to hear from Pickett about how much he stresses the importance of clear communication. Communication is just as important as execution, and it’s really hard to pull off the latter if you don’t have the former.
Everybody knowing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing on every play you run is going to give you the best chance to succeed, and to start down that path you have to be sure that you’re clearly communicating to everybody in a manner in which they understand what the play is and their assignment within it.
And it doesn’t just fall on the quarterback, of course, even if he bears a certain level of responsibility for setting that tone, since, after all, he is the one with the speaker in his helmet getting the plays, so at the end of the day it is his job to make sure everyone is on the same page.
And everybody already knows how Pickett does business. That’s good. But as they say, knowing is half the battle…executing is the other half in this case.