Typically, the time between the conclusion of the Super Bowl and the start of the new league year in mid-March is a quiet time for NFL players as they are in the midst of their recovery phase after a long, grueling season that really started in July with training camp and ran right into early January.
For Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett, there is no downtime. Instead, Pickett played a pivotal role in getting a bunch of young offensive pieces from the black and gold together in Florida in mid-February for a multi-day throwing session in an effort to keep building that rapport together in hopes of hitting the ground running for the 2023 season.
Along with Pickett, backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky was in attendance, as were wide receivers Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Calvin Austin III, Anthony Miller, Steven Sims, Cody White, and Gunner Olzewski, as well as tight end Connor Heyward.
According to Pickett’s personal QB coach in Tony Racioppi, Pickett was the one who put everything together, coordinating dates, setting up the daily route concepts and the overall workouts.
“This was all him,” Racioppi said, according to original reporting from the Post-Gazette’s Brian Batko. “I helped him through the workout, but he set this whole thing up, he got dates, made sure everyone was down here, put the workout together as far as the routes and concepts. I just helped him through that stuff. He did a great job, as usual. That’s just who he is.”
Over the years, that’s who Pickett has been. Even during his time at Pitt, Pickett was constantly working with his teammates each summer outside of the facility, aiming to get incrementally better day after day.
That work ethic was something that obviously attracted the Steelers to him in the pre-draft process and ultimately led to them having him as their QB1 on the board, making him the selection at No. 20 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Now, he’s working on fully making the offense his, and from a larger picture standpoint, the team as well.
Pickett has stepped seamlessly into the leadership role for the Steelers, and the fact that he took it upon himself to coordinate everything for the workout in Florida in February is rather impressive.
Entering the offseason, Pickett stated he wanted to work on his footwork in the pocket and get down the timing with his receivers, and the workout in Florida was aimed at achieving some of that.
On top of that, the Steelers’ offense is a young one overall, so spending time together, creating those bonds off the field and really understanding each other is nothing but a positive for the Steelers and the players involved moving forward. The fact that their young QB took charge and organized it all though has to have the organization beaming with pride, knowing they drafted a true alpha-dog type, one that is going to be a leader for the franchise for many years moving forward.
That’s who he was in college, who he is now, and who he seemingly will be moving forward in his NFL career.