For Kenny Pickett, a team practice in shells is sorta old news. What is new is Pickett’s equipment. At least his helmet. As spotted by our Tyler Wise, Pickett is wearing new headgear, switching to the VICIS helmet debuted by the NFL this year as the first quarterback-specific helmet.
It appears Pickett is wearing the VICIS Zero2 helmet that sells for $800 on the company’s website. In touting the product, its site says:
“The next level in design, performance, and protection. Flexible outer shell technology, exclusive to VICIS helmets, allows the ZERO2 to respond like no other helmet on the market. By deforming like a car bumper, impact forces are absorbed at the point of contact, before they reach the head. The result is not only groundbreaking protection, but a helmet that feels like no other.”
The company tweeted data that showed its safer than other helmets out on the market.
In April, the league unveiled the news that it was improving the VICIS helmet for quarterbacks this year to join the one made for offensive and defensive linemen, the Zero2 Trench Helmet. Reportedly, there will be position-specific helmets for wide receivers and defensive backs next season.
When the news broke, we wondered if Pickett would make the switch. As a rookie, he suffered a pair of concussions from his head hitting off the ground, causing him to miss one full game and parts of others, including after getting injured early in the team’s Week 14 contest against the Baltimore Ravens.
Pickett made a helmet switch last season to an oversized one. This helmet looks sleeker and more comfortable. So long as he can get used to the new facemask design, which he has the rest of the offseason to do, he should stick with it throughout the regular season.
Keeping Pickett upright and healthy is priority number one for the Steelers this season. In part, they’ve done that by improving their offensive line with the additions of LG Isaac Seumalo and OT Broderick Jones, a first-round draft pick. But Pittsburgh could assemble the greatest front five known to man and Pickett is still going to take some shots. Having a helmet that can protect him from any type of hit and collision is key. Of course, this helmet offers no guarantees and nothing is 100% but every step towards reducing injury risks, especially concussions, is a positive one.