The Pittsburgh Steelers hope was that when they selected rookie QB Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, they were getting their next franchise QB1. The Steelers have shown during the process of this three-way competition that Pickett wasn’t going to be handed anything. He has been tasked with earning every single rep during training camp in Latrobe and the preseason. The “hometown hero” out of the University of Pittsburgh initially started as the team’s third quarterback on the depth chart. He had a rough start to training camp, but he’s catching on now, and he’s shown a lot of promise the past couple of weeks.
The one thing about Pickett that has seemed to impress the Steelers coaching staff, especially quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, during their time with him in Latrobe thus far has been the rookie’s maturity level.
“Kenny, as I mentioned, his maturity is one that’s been very impressive,” Sullivan stated via KDKA. “By that, I mean, he doesn’t ever get too high, doesn’t get too low, got a tremendous work ethic. And he’s able to process well, he can take things, understanding in the meeting, and then take it to the field. Of course, he’s making some rookie mistakes, like they all do, but really pleased with his progression thus far.”
Sullivan was asked in that same interview about his own patience and how that helps him with being a quarterbacks coach in the NFL. When you hear it, you can’t help but to have Pickett on your mind as Sullivan answers.
“Well, you better be patient, you know,” Sullivan stated. “I mean there’s so much pressure that’s involved with the position. They have the livelihood of the organization in their hands on every single play. And so, we just have to try as best we can to keep guys focused and forget about negativity, forget about positivity, and focus on the task at hand.”
I’ve preached the same narrative of patience since draft night, be patient with your rookie quarterback, Steeler Nation! Pickett has surely shown growth during this time in the Steelers rotation of quarterbacks during team reps. Pickett has shown improvement since the first week of training camp in Latrobe, and he got the opportunity to showcase that during the team’s first taste of preseason action last Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks.
After Impressive Professional Debut, Steelers QB Kenny Pickett Has an Almost Perfect Practice; Getting an Influx of 2nd Team Reps in Training Camp
Pickett played well in his first ever professional snaps on Saturday night! He completed 13 of his 15 passes on the night for two touchdowns, one being the game-winner to WR Tyler Vaughns.
The rookie QB looked confident and comfortable, he displayed that the NFL wasn’t too big for him to grab hold of, no matter his hand size. Now, Pickett is getting an increased number of second-team reps during this week’s training camp practices. We din’t want to read too much into that, seeing as the QB depth chart has just been a carousel thus far. However, it’s been confirmed that the influx of second-team reps in practice DOES mean that Pickett will get increased reps during this Saturday’s match-up against the Jacksonville Jaguars!
Mike Tomlin said Kenny Pickett has been working with the second team this week in an effort to get him ready for more action vs. JAX:
Tomlin: "He’s going to get some reps and more varsity-like action in this game in an effort to get to know him and see how he fares."
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 17, 2022
It’s hard to analyze what exactly Head Coach Mike Tomlin means at times, but it sure sounds like Pickett will be getting second-team reps (varsity-like action) in the Steelers’ second preseason game of 2022!