‘When It’s Time To Do It, Who Shows Up?’: Pickett Pleased With Commitment Of Offensive Pieces Around Him

The young offensive pieces of the Pittsburgh Steelers started to really gel down the 2022 stretch as the team went 7-2 in the second half of the season, finishing 9-8 overall.

Though there was some frustrations with missing the playoffs on the final play of the season, those young offensive players raised some eyebrows — in a positive way — when the group got together in Florida in February to continue working together, developing more chemistry and continuing to push the envelope ahead of the 2023 season.

Quarterbacks Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky, wide receivers Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Steven Sims (now with the Houston Texans), Calvin Austin III, Cody White, Gunner Olszewski, Miles Boykin and tight end Connor Heyward got together in Florida to train for a couple of days.

For Pickett, who is entering his second season as the starter in Pittsburgh, that level of commitment from his teammates offensively was awesome to see, he said on The Pivot Podcast with hosts Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor. and really showed that this group of offensive pieces in Pittsburgh has what it takes to be successful.

“Yeah, it’s big man. It’s big. You love hearing guys, like, anyone in the NFL could say, ‘Man, I want this, I want that.’ Everyone should have that want-to,” Pickett stated, according to video via The Pivot Podcast YouTube page. “They can talk about it and it sounds great, and everyone’s on board and it’s a rah-rah type thing, but then when it’s time to do it, like who shows up and who’s there? That’s when you find out who’s really all in it, who wants to do it?

“So to have everyone show up, man, and be down here and ready to work, it was awesome to see. And you know, it just kind of excites you as a quarterback, as a player that you got guys with you that are on that same kind of level and same kind of drive that want to go out there and win a championship.”

After the way the offense closed the season with Pickett throwing to the likes of Johnson, Pickens and Heyward, it was great to see the young pieces offensively that will be pivotal for the Steelers moving forward getting together so quickly after the season to continue working, developing that timing, chemistry and overall rapport.

While they were just throwing against air, they were still working on concepts that they use each and every day in the Steelers’ system and were able to continue to get to know each other’s little nuances as route runners, such as where they like the ball coming out of a break, how they get out of breaks, how they set up moves within routes, and when the quarterback likes to get the ball out on certain concepts.

It might not seem like much now, but the work put in away from the facility as a group will only do wonders for Pittsburgh entering OTAs, minicamp, training camp and then the season as the learning curve and adjustment period is gone.

The 2023 season will be a big one for Pittsburgh’s offense. For the last two seasons, they’ve finished in the 20s in scoring offense and it took until last year’s regular season finale for the team to average more points per game in 2022 than it did in 2019, an objectively miserable season for the offense after losing QB Ben Roethlisberger six quarters into it

Having great continuity on offense will be a boost to the Steelers’ odds of seeing their offensive production increase. Players like Pickett and Pickens are expected to make a second-year jump.

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