Steelers News

‘Shit, I’ve Got Work To Do!’: Kenny Pickett Recalls Watching Big Ben, Killer Bs At Pitt And Seeing ‘How It Was Supposed To Be Done’

A year ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers were gearing up for the 2022 NFL Draft with the hopes of having the opportunity to land the boy next door, quarterback Kenny Pickett. Their wish came true, as he sat there untouched through the first 19 selections before they were finally on the board.

Now on the eve of the next draft, Pickett is talking about what comes next—as well as about how he got here. Hopping on The Pivot with Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder, and Fred Taylor, he remembered watching the Killer Bs offense up close and personal.

Those games, those guys were playing at a different level. I was at Pitt and I was able to see it every day, watching at practice”, he recalled. “You can sit on the side after workouts and just watch them, watch the timing, watching when the ball comes out before the guy breaks, way before I was doing it. And I’m like, ‘Shit, I’ve got some work to do’”!

The Killer Bs, of course, were quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and running back Le’Veon Bell, who during their peak run were consistently at least Pro Bowlers, if not All-Pros, and put up some of the best offensive numbers in team history. Martavis Bryant made a brief cameo in that era as well.

Pickett got to Pitt in 2017, so he was kind of seeing the end of an era. That marked Bell’s final season with the Steelers as he sat out the 2018 season before moving on in free agency. Brown would play through 2018 before forcing a trade and proving every negative rumor about himself true and then some.

But even those years were impressive. The Steelers actually went 13-3 during the 2017 season, with all three making the Pro Bowl, Brown and Bell both being first-team All-Pros. Brown caught 101 passes for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns, missing two games, which was a down year for him. Bell rushed for 1,291 yards with 655 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns.

There’s no doubt that Brown and Bell were two of the most talented players at their respective positions at the time, as, of course, was Roethlisberger, who in 2019 threw for more than 5,000 yards with 34 touchdowns and still somehow didn’t make the Pro Bowl. Brown caught 15 of those touchdowns, while Bell’s replacement, James Conner, scored 13 touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl in his place.

“I saw how it was supposed to be done from Ben at practice, so he was another guy I was able to see up close and personal, which really helped”, Pickett said of that early time at Pitt, having the opportunity to watch the Steelers practice.

Not many college programs have the same opportunity the Panthers have of sharing facilities with an NFL team. While they’re not sharing locker rooms or holding scrimmages, there is obviously some fraternizing going on, and the young guys are going to be interested in the guys who have the jobs they want. And at least in terms of offensive success, Pickett could have done a lot worse than watching those Killer Bs and the work they put in to reach the level of performance that earned them honors.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!