2022 was a whirlwind ride for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett and it really started with him being thrusted into the starting job midway the team’s Week 4 game of his rookie season. In his recent appearance on the Footbahlin Podcast with Ben Roethlisberger, Pickett talked about several different aspects related to his rookie season with the Steelers and that included him talking about his process of looking at both good and bad plays after he exited the field.
Former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger specifically asked Pickett to share his process as a rookie both after throwing a touchdown pass as well as an interception, and if his rookie season mindset was different when it came to the two scenarios.
“Yeah, the successful plays, I don’t ever get too caught up on,” Pickett explained. “It’s like, if there was a negative play, I want to see it, kind of that’s the first one I’ll go to. And I just want to see like, what did I not see? Where did I miss? What did they throw at me that I wasn’t prepared for or something? Is it a game plan thing? Did I see it before, and they just caught me? So, it was kind of one of those things.”
Pickett, however, also addressed his thought process when it came to things he looked at after coming off the field following successful plays in 2022.
“And then the successful ones, like, you know, you want to see why it worked,” Pickett told Roethlisberger. “Obviously, like if it was a busted coverage, double move, like how did we get them and can we do it again? So, I think it’s kind of like you want to get to those first, like, and just knock those out and then kind of see how the drive progressed.”
After Pickett finished his answer, Roethlisberger told him that he was the same way in that he wanted to get the negative plays addressed first and get them out of his head and behind him. All of that makes sense, right? Learn from your mistakes as quickly as possible.
While Pickett’s 2022 rookie season was full of ups and downs, the kind that most young quarterbacks go through right out of the chute, he did seem to get a lot more comfortable the later it got into the season. In fact, that was reflected in his interception stats as well. After throwing eight interceptions in the first five games that he played in, Pickett threw just one more in the final eight games that he played in. He also had four combined fourth quarter-comebacks/game-winning drives after the team’s bye week.
With his rookie season now well in his rear-view mirror, Pickett certainly seems poised to make a strong second-year jump in 2023 and potentially right out of the chute as well. He’s been able to work with several members of the offense so far this summer and that should result in that unit hitting the ground running when OTAs get underway next week in Pittsburgh. Speaking of hitting the ground running, the Steelers’ running game is expected to be seriously improved in 2023 and if that happens, it should put a little less pressure on Pickett in the passing game.
Obviously, the proof will be in the proverbial pudding in 2023 when it comes Pickett and his overall play. Hopefully for him and the Steelers, he’s looking at a lot more successful plays when he exits the field in 2023 and a lot fewer negative ones. If that’s what ends up happening, he might very well be able to lead the Steelers back to the playoffs in 2023.