Kenny Pickett hoping to take a leap with subtle, but important improvement

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Levi Wallace revealed that quarterback Kenny Pickett is picking his brain to ensure he has a better sophomore season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had to figure out how to replace Ben Roethlisberger last offseason, who retired after being their starting quarterback since 2004. The team used their first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Pittsburgh Panthers signal caller Kenny Pickett, the top prospect at the position that year, to eventually be their starting quarterback.

While his rookie season was far from perfect, Pickett showed promise at the end of the season. The Steelers feel like they have their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.

This offseason, Pickett is making sure he’s at his best entering the 2023 campaign.

During an appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on June 30, Steelers cornerback Levi Wallace revealed that during practice, Pickett asks him what he’s seeing when he’s surveying the field with the football in his hands. Wallace says he’s doing this to get rid of the “bad habits.”

Levi Wallace says Kenny Pickett is trying to get rid of all bad quarterback habits before the 2023 season

“We talk a lot of trash, but we also build each other up. He asks me ‘What do you see?’ and what is he doing that makes him so predictable, because he wants to get rid of all the bad habits,” said Wallace. “He wants to be the best quarterback in the league. He wants to be the best competitor, he never wants to lose.”

That is a tidbit that the Steelers faithful will love hearing, that he’s trying to make sure defenses can’t read him and be able to guess what play he’s trying to make.

Last season, Pickett took over as the team’s starter after they had benched Mitchell Trubisky. He did miss some time due to concussions but was able to start the majority of the season. Not to mention, he had two game-winning drives against the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens in Weeks 16 and 17.

On the year, Pickett threw for 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions while completing 63.0 percent of his passes in 13 games played (12 starts).

The Steelers spent this offseason bringing in help for Pickett. The team acquired wide receiver Allen Robinson from the Los Angeles Rams to their wide receiver corps led by Diontae Johnson and George Pickens. Even though the team has Pat Freiermuth as their top tight end, they drafted Georgia’s Darnell Washington, the most athletic tight end prospect in the class. In this very draft, they selected Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones to protect Pickett’s blindside.

This upcoming season, the Steelers have big expectations for Pickett, and it sounds like he’s doing everything in his power to ensure that his second year will be a tremendous one.

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