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‘The Sky Is The Limit’: GMFB Believes That Kenny Pickett Is Poised For Huge Leap In 2023

Ahead of the 2023 season, the biggest question surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers centers on second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett and what type of step forward — if any — the young quarterback can take.

The Good Morning Football panel of Jamie Erdahl, Jason McCourty, Peter Schrager and Kyle Brandt believes that Pickett is poised for a huge leap in 2023, with some even arguing that he’s already made it.

While questions about the Steelers continue to swirl regarding their outlook for the 2023 season, the GMFB panel is pretty bullish on not only the Steelers overall, but Pickett as well when it comes to being a legitimate quarterback overall. Thanks to his performance down the stretch in 2022, Pickett has the makings of a great quarterback, at least according to Schrager.

“You fast forward to the end of the season and they’re in a huge Saturday night game on NFL Network and it’s snowy and it’s gross out and it’s Pickett who went six and two to finish the season,” Schrager said via video from “He finished eighth in the NFL in quarterback rating last year. Eighth overall! Pickett was awesome last year down the stretch. So if Tomlin says he’s gonna take a leap from this, I think the sky is the limit. I thought, quietly, in a sea of [Joe] Burrow, [Patrick] Mahomes, Tua [Tagovailoa] talk, all that stuff, Kenny Pickett was awesome down the stretch and did everything he possibly could to solidify himself as the number one guy. And not only in Pittsburgh, but to be a contender.

“Like, I don’t know what that leap can be. He already made the leap. This guy’s legit. He was awesome last year and he almost willed them to the playoffs on a team that had no business playing in January.”

Pickett was rather impressive in the second half of the season, cutting way down on the turnovers and general mistakes a young quarterback makes. He put together some strong performances overall leading the Steelers to a 6-2 record when he was on the field.

Pittsburgh rebounded from a 2-6 start to finish 9-8, with a handful of wins in the second half of the season coming due to Pickett leading a fourth quarter comeback (Saints and Colts wins) and game-winning drives (Raiders, Ravens). He showed he has that “it” factor in big moments. When the lights get bright and the moment gets tight, he simply didn’t shrink, instead rising to the occasion.

That was big for a young quarterback to go through and grow from.

Now, it all sets up for a big second season in Pittsburgh.

While he has a bit of a way to go before he proves that he is truly legit, the excitement and expectations around Pickett entering Year 2 are rather high, as they should be. The NFL has recently seen some second-year quarterbacks, like Trevor Lawrence and Jalen Hurts, make significant leaps. Though it might be a stretch to expect Pickett to make the leap into stardom that Hurts and Lawrence did last season, that’s the type of company and expectations he’s put himself into due to his performance down the stretch in 2022.

“I’m buying into Kenny Pickett,” McCourty said. “Making a huge leap from year one to year two is kind of, we all say a rookie from year one to year to you make this huge jump, especially at the quarterback position. I look at Kenny Pickett, I look at Trevor Lawrence last year, going from year one to year two under Doug Pederson, making a huge jump, being a really good quarterback last year for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kenny Pickett had four game-winning drives last season and sold a little bit of that it factor in him in Pittsburgh, and I think now year two, they have a chance to compete for a playoff spot in that division.”

If Pickett can take that next step, whether it’s a small or a huge leap, like the GFMB panel debated, the Steelers should be in good shape when it comes to not only the playoff picture in the AFC in 2023, but also in the future for the Black and Gold.

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