Kenny Pickett continues to come into his own as a leader for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and is already impressing new teammates.
New offensive lineman Nate Herbig, who was introduced to the media Thursday after his two-year, $8 million deal became official, praised the Steelers’ young quarterback. In terms of leadership, he compared Pickett with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. Herbig spent two seasons with Hurts in Philadelphia.
Pickett was one of the first players to reach out to Herbig after he agreed to a contract with the Steelers.
“It was unbelievable. I had a great leader when I was in Philadelphia with Jalen Hurts and he just…the fact that he just like reached out to me just made me have so much — I already had so much respect for him — but even more just like how much of a leader he is,” Herbig said of Pickett, via the Steelers’ YouTube page. “And I’m just excited to be around him and be on his team.”
Comparing Pickett’s leadership to Hurts’ is quite high praise. Hurts, who put together an MVP-caliber season in 2022 while leading the Eagles to an appearance in Super Bowl LVII, is regarded as one of the best leaders and motivators in the NFL, let alone all of sports.
It’s been his calling card dating back to his time at Alabama and Oklahoma, and it has translated with the Eagles. So far, Pickett has had quite the impact from a leadership standpoint. He stepped in as the starter in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills and showed fire in a skirmish with Buffalo’s Shaq Lawson late in the blowout loss that showed fire. That carried over to the rest of the season and into the offseason.
This offseason, Pickett put together the offensive workout in Miami with teammates, and has really settled into his role as the young face of the Steelers. That he was one of the first players to reach out to new teammates isn’t a surprise, but it’s great to hear.
He was a great leader with the Pitt Panthers and is starting to become one in the NFL, one that teammates gravitate toward.