Steelers News

Kenny Pickett Wants To ‘Run The Show’ On Offense The Way Other Top QBs Do

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Omar Khan has openly expressed relief during this offseason process that they don’t have to concern themselves with evaluating the top of the quarterback position.

They already got their guy last year, Kenny Pickett, who like the rest of the 2022 quarterback class fell in the draft. He was the only quarterback taken, 20th overall, in the first two rounds. He led four game-winning drives last season in 12 starts with a 7-5 record overall.

For the team, and for himself, that’s of course just the tip of the iceberg. He talked about his ambitions for his own performance and how he can lead this offense during an appearance on The Pivot podcast with Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder, and Fred Taylor.

I think there’s a lot of talent on our team, and as long as I continue to work and push myself in the offseason”, he said, he believes he can “make that leap and master our system and own it the way you see these other quarterbacks in the league own it”.

“They’re running the show out there and that’s what I want to get to”, he said, referring to players like Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, and Josh Allen who have years in their system. “It doesn’t happen overnight, and I understand that it’s gonna take some time to get there. But I’m gonna do everything in my power to get there, and I know we have the guys on the team that want that same goal of hoisting that trophy up in February. I know we’ll get there sooner or later”.

Pickett’s system, of course, is built primarily by Matt Canada, going into his third year as offensive coordinator. The Steelers finished 26th in the NFL in points scored a year ago, 24th in passing yards, and 16th in rushing yards, though there was a fairly stark contrast between the first half of the season and the second half.

After all, they were 2-6 at the bye week and then ended the regular season on a 7-2 run, very nearly reaching the postseason. They won their final four games, and it could have been seven if not broken up by a game against the Baltimore Ravens in which Pickett was knocked out by a hit on the opening drive.

Mitch Trubisky replaced him for the vast majority of the game, and it seemed every time they were threatening, the Ravens would successfully read or bait him into an interception, throwing three on the day, twice in the red zone, in a 16-14 loss. That is one that got away—and not from Pickett.

But he was nowhere near where he wants to be from a performance level last season, the good news being that he seems very much to recognize that. One thing you can’t question about him is his self-awareness and his willingness to put in the work. He’s been doing that throughout the offseason, including organizing workouts with his teammate and working diligently with his own private quarterback coach, with whom he’s worked for many years. Now they’re working on the specifics of his game and the Steelers’ offense.

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