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Kenny Pickett vs. The World
The new face of the Pittsburgh Steelers won't flinch in 2023. He never has. Go Long chats with the quarterback who could sneak up on everyone in a loaded AFC.
PITTSBURGH — No word makes the quarterback in the backwards hat cringe quite like “ceiling.” Kenny Pickett loathes the term. It’s lazy, nonsensical. He’s heard it his entire life.
“I don’t believe in that,” he snipes. “You’re at your ceiling when you hang your cleats up. I’m nowhere near my ceiling.”
Patronizing doubt is nothing new. From high school. Pickett was small and off the radar of D-I powers. To college. After his 2020 season at Pitt, his third as the starter, Pickett was informed by the NFL he’d be a sixth- or seventh-round pick. Not only that. Pickett heard it’d be wise to declare a year early because that grade wouldn’t get any better. To the pros. The AFC has been described as a tank full of sharks with laser beams attached to their heads the last six months and no serious conversation has included the Pittsburgh Steelers as contenders. It’d probably take a minimum five I.C. Lights for even the locals to include Pickett in the same breath as the best of the AFC’s best.
History is repeating itself. Which is fine. If the weight of one of the NFL’s most passionate fan bases rests on his shoulders — if the shadow of Ben Roethlisberger affects him whatsoever — it’s impossible to tell.
This quarterback has always been his own man. Pickett witnessed both Joe Burrow (at LSU) and Mac Jones (at Alabama) light up college football for one season and get drafted in the first round. No draft advisory board would guide his decision. Pickett reached out to his friend, Peyton Manning, for insight and Manning said the consensus from the NFL was that he’d go no higher than the fifth round. His advice? Go back to school. Prove ‘em wrong. So, he did.
Speaking to Go Long one week before his 2023 opener against San Francisco, Pickett’s voice speeds up.
The QB makes a point to note that he’s on record saying he’d bring a conference title to Pitt and go first round.
“What did we do? Championship, first round,” Pickett says. “I work very hard to do what I say I’m going to do. I want to bring that to this city now. The city I’ve been in. Bring it to this team.”
All of the top dogs in the AFC possess distinct superpowers. Patrick Mahomes defies physics as the inevitable force in the clutch. Joe Burrow is the mind-reader, diagnosing exactly where your defense is weakest. Josh Allen is the stiff-arming, truck-sticking Monstar. Lamar Jackson was already one of the best runners in the position’s history. Now, he has a coordinator with knowledge of the passing game. Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert both appear to be on the cusp of superstardom.
Look closely and you’ll see that Kenny Pickett has an edge of his own. He gave us several hints in the form of four game-winning drives as a rookie. That’s who he’s been his whole life. Far back as he can remember — to age 5 — Kenny says Ken Sr. made one fact very plain: “Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time moments.”
Says Pickett: “Ever since I’ve picked up a ball, I want the ball. I want to be The Guy in those moments. And I feel like my demeanor demonstrates that.”
Ahead of the 2022 draft, everyone else obsessed over the size of Pickett’s hands and the fact that he wore gloves. Maybe the Steelers cared. Maybe they didn’t. Most importantly, the NFL team sharing the same building as the Pitt Panthers here off South Water Street knew damn well that Pickett’s palms within those gloves would never dampen in sweat. Pickett sincerely cannot think of one instance in which he was nervous in a game.
He finds his zone. Flat-lines. The game “slows down” because he’s so confident.
Rebuilding is not a reality under Mike Tomlin, the coach who’s never finished below .500 in his 16 seasons. The defense is loaded once again and welcomes back the best player in football. The mystery is the quarterback and throughout our extended conversation there’s a sense that Pickett fully expects to take a sledgehammer to all preconceived notions about himself in 2023. With each story, he flashes a smile. A cocky smile. Now, there’s a word he’ll live with. In college, one of the team’s strength coaches, DeVaughn Gordon, loved to say that you’re either “street dog” or a “show dog.” Only one, he’d add, wins in this violent sport.
The quote stuck. Pickett knows he’s always been a street dog.
“It’s walking that line between ‘cocky’ and ‘confident,’” he says, “but I’d rather be the one way than the other. I’d rather have the extreme confidence than be a guy who’s not believing in myself and not having swag when I’m on the field.”
The exact opposite of cookie-cutter QB1 peers, he only knows one speed off the field.
He added 13 pounds of muscle this offseason, studied every single one of his 389 throws, gained a mastery of this Steelers offense. His swagger will be at an all-time high this Sunday at Acrisure Field because of everything you don’t see.
“The time. The effort,” Pickett says. “Not just in-season, but in the offseason. It’s 24/7/365. I’m thinking about football. I’m doing everything toward being the best at this position. Winning Super Bowls. Winning championships. When you’re so tunnel vision on that, nothing else matters. I don’t watch cable. I don’t read the shit. Every Sunday, I walk down that tunnel and tell myself — it’s a peaceful moment — and I tell myself: ‘I’m going to do whatever it takes to win today.’ I’m at peace running out of that tunnel because I know I’m prepared to go farther than anybody else on that field is prepared to go.”
Kenny Pickett knows he is about to raise his ceiling higher than anyone expects.
That’s all he’s done his entire life.
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Motivation isn’t drawn from media pontification. He’ll watch shows on Netflix and HBO with his wife — Sopranos, Ballers, Thrones, Succession. But it’s true: He doesn’t watch cable. He consumes exactly zero words of sports opinion through the week. Further, if we were to thumb through the apps on his phone, dig through his locker, examine every aspect of Pickett’s life, we’d also learn he’s no fan of motivational speeches. Nor is he a connoisseur of self-help texts, audiobooks, any of those uplifting tales that sweep the nation.
If a Navy SEAL like David Goggins compels an offensive lineman to blast through the nearest wall? Great. If speaker Inky Johnson crystallizes the meaning of life for one of his receivers? Cool. Everybody’s different.
He personally finds all of this corny.
“If you need a cheerleader to get you going?” Pickett says. “I don’t want anybody but me to go get what I need to get.”
So, that’s what is telling about Pickett’s psyche. In detailing what runs through his mind when this extreme belief is tested — when, for example, he’s getting practice scraps as the No. 3 quarterback exactly one year ago — Pickett’s words actually do sound derived from a bestselling memoir.
“Are you that guy? Or, are you not that guy? Are you a phony, or not?” Pickett says. “To me, that’s where it comes out. Everyone can be confident when everything’s going great. But when shit hits the fan, ‘OK, what kind of guy are you?’ Are you going to be diligent? Are you going to say, ‘Ah, this ain’t for me’ and not stay ultra-committed to what you’re doing? I prepared like a starter as the 3 and the 2. So, when I became the starter, the only thing that changed was the reps.”
“It tests mental toughness that people say they have. But do you truly have it when stuff’s not going your way? That’s the key.”
Never in his life has Pickett needed anyone to kick him in the ass to work out, to watch film. Dad was blunt. Dad told him early that he’d support his son’s dream of playing pro football in every way, but that Kenny needed to be all-in for him to be all-in. Ken Sr. was an All-American linebacker at Shippensburg University himself. “Don’t leave any regrets,” he told Kenny at age 10… and he didn’t need to say anything else. That young, Kenny asked his father to take him to quarterback camps on the weekend. His first personal coach was Jim Cantafio in Pennsylvania and it was always Kenny begging to go 2 ½ hours out and 2 ½ hours back.
“It’s in his core,” says Ken Sr. “Everyone would look at me like I was the one pushing him. I’d look at people and say, ‘You’re crazy. There’s only one guy pushing him, and it’s himself.’ To give up a weekend, a lot of kids are going to do birthday parties and going to do fun stuff. Kenny’s fun was going to learn and to compete and throw with the best at an early age.”
Ken eventually found a coach 38 miles away in Princeton, N.J. (Chris Malleo), before then linking his son up with Tony Racioppi, who he’s been with since.
Yet, he was never a quarterback created in some lab. Transferring to a private school was never an option. Kenny wanted to keep playing with his friends from Pop Warner. Giving up baseball wasn’t an option, either. Kenny had played with this crew since tee-ball and they always dreamt of taking a run at states. With Dad’s words of wisdom at the forefront of his mind — staying “all in” on football — his days at Ocean Township High School often lasted from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
After class, he’d get some football throwing in. Attend baseball practice or a game. Then, it was back into the gym to lift weights. Or run. Two or three times per week, he’d then drive an hour to 7-on-7 football practice with his receiver, Joey Aldarelli. Thinking back, he knows that this is why the NFL’s long hours are not daunting.
There was only one problem in high school: His height. Ken Sr. remembers one of Kenny’s Team USA teammates Lindell Stone measuring 6 feet tall in eighth grade. That young, Stone received an offer from UCLA. Meanwhile, there was Kenny at all of 5 feet, 5 inches. Maybe 5-6. Stone eventually signed with Virginia, but stayed at 6-0. Kenny soared to 6 feet, 3 ¾ inches. A credit to all the height on his mother’s father’s side of the family.
UConn was his first choice. But after asking for another week, to give his mother a chance to visit campus, the Huskies called to say he was out of luck. Another quarterback committed before him. He chose Temple. He grew hungrier. Because if a growth spurt cracked the recruiting doors open, Pickett’s diabolical competitiveness kicked them down. Unhappy with the lack of buzz, Pickett asked his high school coach which camps the best of the best QB prospects attended. He’d travel anywhere. He wanted to make it abundantly clear to those college coaches running the camps that he was superior.
One camp was in North Carolina where the Steelers’ current backup standing 10 feet from us — Mitchell Trubisky — was his camp counselor.
Mac Jones was there. Hendon Hooker, too. Pickett made sure the Tar Heels coaches saw his arm compared to theirs.
“I hovered around those guys,” he says. “Just to compete. … The nice way to put it? I wanted to compete.”
He eventually decommitted from Temple and chose the University of Pittsburgh over North Carolina and Boston College. The Panthers’ head coach, Pat Narduzzi, personally recruited him. Loyalty that meant so much to Pickett that he never entertained the SEC schools (Ole Miss, Vanderbilt) that poked their heads in late. Pickett didn’t waste any time raising his ceiling again.
It was Nov. 24, 2017. Pitt’s last game in a lost season. Pickett, a true freshman, was asked to start his first collegiate game. This meant burning his redshirt after barely playing all season but this was also the opportunity of a lifetime.
In town was the No. 2-ranked team in the country: the Miami Hurricanes.
Pickett, predictably, was stone-cold in leading Pitt to a 17-7 lead. With 3 minutes left, he smelled blood. It was fourth and 5 at the Miami 22-yard line. The sort of moment he dreamt of as a kid in New Jersey. On the sideline, Pickett told Mike Perish, Pitt’s assistant quarterbacks coach, that the defensive ends were crashing. Hard. One bootleg would boomerang to the end zone. Narduzzi was on-board.
But to truly sell the fake? Pickett added his own twist. He didn’t even tell anyone in the huddle he was keeping the ball.
The plan worked to perfection with Pickett racing free and diving horizontal into the pylon for a TD that’ll live in Pitt lore. He’s told this ballsy trickeration could’ve blown up in his face.
“Hey, man. I had nothing to lose,” Pickett says. “If you watch that game, I was trying to run people over. I was trying to win the job, so I was going for it. You can look at it either way: ‘If I win this one, I’m the guy.’ And that’s what happened.”
This moment vaulted Pickett’s confidence into a new stratosphere. There was now zero doubt in his mind that this was his team. Of course, such belief was bound to be tested. The next season, the big man on campus led Pitt to the ACC Championship Game against No. 1 Clemson. This time, he was a total disaster. Pickett’s final stat line in a 42-10 loss was putrid: 4 of 16 for eight yards with one interception. After Clemson’s star-studded defensive line ate him alive, Pickett should’ve disappeared into ACC obscurity.
Initially, Pickett looks disgusted at the memory of that night. Calls it downright “terrible.”
But this was a turning point. The embarrassment became an opportunity.
He first made a point to turn the page on that loss quickly. Twenty-three days later — on Christmas Eve morning — Pickett stopped to see Racioppi. (“I guess we’re both nuts that way,” the private QB coach says.) They got some throws in and, most importantly, chatted about both fundamentals and confidence. The reset helped. He refused to fade into oblivion.
Adds Racioppi: “You see that a lot from young kids who play early and struggle at times. They go into a shell and they never come back. He responded the opposite way. He went, ‘OK, I’m going to be a great player. And this is what I need to do.’ … He did this. He did this with his work ethic and his talents and his desire to be great.”
With a little help, too. Narduzzi connected Pickett with a sports psychologist whom, Ken Sr. says, became “extremely important.” The quarterback could now vent all frustrations to a third party. We often forget that the central figures in college sports are 20 and 21 years old. Pickett always relished the pressure. He took every last-minute shot in basketball, wanted the football in his hands with 2 minutes left, couldn’t wait to step up to the plate in the ninth inning. But now there were stadiums full of fans hovering over him and scrutiny on a college campus.
This sports psychologist taught him how to eliminate outside voices to the point — today — where Pickett believes he is the best player on the field every Sunday.
“The only reason I’m here is because of that mindset I have. Truly,” Pickett says. “I think other guys may fold. Other guys may hesitate and not believe in themselves. But never losing belief in myself is the reason why I’m here.”
Naturally, Pickett progressed in ‘19, in ‘20. Going into that 2020 junior season, he attended the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana. When Dad picked him up at the airport and asked how it went, Kenny called it the best three days of his life. Whereas other quarterbacks were mutes around an all-time great, Pickett took the opportunity to pick Peyton’s brain as much as possible. Asked 20+ questions. Suddenly, Pickett had direct lines to both Manning and Pitt legend Dan Marino.
Oh, he loves Marino’s film. The quick release, arm strength. But more than this? Pickett digs Marino’s aura. He cannot wait to shoot a round of golf with him one of these days.
“He carries himself the way I want to carry myself,” Pickett says. “Even to this day, I feel like he walks around with swag to him. He’s got a forward lean when he’s walking.”
That’s why Ken Sr. says we need to take Kenny seriously when he calls himself the best. He means it.
Anyone claiming that he had maxed out could kindly buzz off. Pickett says that Manning’s words of optimism after 2020 — to play one more season — changed his life. That ensuing senior season at Pitt, Pickett shattered the school’s passing records and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting. The Panthers went 11-3 and won an ACC Championship with Pickett completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. He also scored five times on the ground, including one 58-yard TD on that outrageous fake slide in the conference title.
A highlight crisply capped with a finger roll and an elegant kiss to the crowd.
Adds Racioppi: “He went through some tough times, which built a thick skin and an internal work ethic. There’s a lot of guys who are OK with adversity but they don’t handle success well. All of a sudden, he has the huge senior year. He almost wins the Heisman Trophy. He goes from the late-round conversation to — all of a sudden — he’s the top guy. Nothing changed. It doesn’t matter if it’s good, bad or ugly. He’s going to keep working and believing in himself.”
There would be more noise. NFL scouts ripped the 2021 draft class as one of the worst in recent history. Right here at Go Long, a few did have nice things to say. Pickett drew a Matt Hasselbeck comparison. One said he’d take Pickett over Trevor Lawrence the previous year. But there was also the following thoughts from scouts in Bob McGinn’s annual draft series.
“I don’t think you’ll take him and think, ‘We solved our problem here.’ When you’re in quarterback purgatory it’s not a good place to be. I wouldn’t be mad about taking him. But if I’m the GM I wouldn’t be thinking I’m saving my job.”
“He’s a need-everything-to-go-perfect-for-you starter, not an upper-echelon, I’m winning-games-because-of-you starter.”
“He’s reached his ceiling.”
“He wears the gloves all the time. He has a chance to bust.”
“If he had 9 ½-inch hands I don’t think we’re having this discussion in terms of is he a first-rounder.”
Ah, yes. The hands.
First, at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Pickett refused to have his hands measured. Intrigue was planted. At the NFL Combine, his hand size then became the No. 1 sports storyline in America after measuring a bantam 8 ½ inches. There was a reason for this, of course. Pickett was born with double-jointed thumbs that make them naturally stick out at an odd direction. Uproar followed. And memes. So many memes. This basic human anatomy was completely out of his control but he still tried to take matters into his own, uh, hands. Between the Combine and Pitt’s pro day, Pickett later revealed that he slept with a split to stretch his hand out at night. And did stretching exercises.
It worked. At his pro day, his hand measured 8.625 inches.
“That’s just Kenny,” says his Dad. “If he could fix his hand — and make it a half-inch bigger — he’d make it a half-inch bigger.”
At no point did Ken Sr. sense that his son was flustered by the mockery. After all of that work with the psychologist and a historic 2021 season, this was nothing. The NFL team that shares a building with Pitt scouted with an open mind, too. Steelers quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan got to know Pickett on a personal level in Mobile, in Indy and quickly fell in love with his cool demeanor.
“He immediately struck me as a young man who had a confidence, but not an arrogance,” Sullivan says. “He had belief in himself but was someone who was still focused on the team and had a humility with regard to praising his teammates and his coaches.”
At No. 20 overall, the Steelers chose Pickett as the heir apparent to a future Hall of Famer.
Mike Tomlin made him earn it. Pickett started camp as the No. 3, wasn’t elevated to No. 2 until the regular season began, then started his first game on the road against a Super Bowl favorite: the Buffalo Bills. There was no storybook bootleg finish at Highmark Stadium. Only a 38-3 obliteration. With one minute left in this game, on a fourth-and-14 throwaway, Shaq Lawson dove into the quarterback’s knee.
Pickett immediately shoved Lawson to start a fight. He was ready to swap punches with the 6-foot-3, 263-pounder. The two were eventually separated and moments later — on the sideline — Sullivan approached Pickett. He couldn’t complete a sentence before the new quarterback cut in to plead his case.
“Kenny, no, no,” Sullivan responded. “Just don’t ever use your throwing hand to throw a punch. I train jiu-jitsu. I can teach you to put him in a good chokehold or arm-bar but save that throwing hand.”
Pickett laughed. The joke served as a needed bucket of water.
The truth is nobody would be that surprised if Pickett put someone in a chokehold at some point in his career.
Those Pittsburgh Panthers will likely replay Kenny Pickett’s Game 1 dive to the pylon on the Acrisure Stadium videoboard for years.
These Pittsburgh Steelers likely did everything but throw the film from his Game 1 defeat to the Bills into the Allegheny River.
And yet, that moment could prove equally significant. Pickett unquestionably earned cred in his locker room that day. Hell, he won over opponents. Both Von Miller and Stefon Diggs raved about Pickett’s fiery response afterward. In Pickett’s mind? This fight was always central to his growth. One week prior — upon replacing Trubisky — he wasted no time talking smack with the baddest dude on the field: 6-foot-3, 303-pound Quinnen Williams. He loved every second of it. Calls Williams “hilarious.” And after the defensive tackle hit him harder than anyone ever has in his life, Pickett couldn’t help but instantly crack up laughing. He found the pain… “funny.”
Most all quarterbacks prefer to stay upright and the 32 NFL owners are here to happily oblige. Still, Pickett admits he loves the occasional body slam. That first hit has always gotten him into the game. He grew up playing linebacker and moved to safety and corner in high school. One game his senior year, Pickett even played defensive end. He punted. He kicked. He did everything at a school that he says had about “15 guys” who could play football.
“Physicality never bothered me,” Pickett says. “I loved the intensity of playing defense. I think that helps with being The Guy.”
In Pittsburgh, such a quote is biblical. This was always the perfect fit.
Pittsburgh is a city that demands a different degree of toughness, from Jack Lambert to Greg Lloyd to James Harrison. Good luck finding a team that hits nearly as much as Tomlin’s crew in training camp and the head coach plays starters in the preseason because, as he explained, “If we’re gonna box, we have to spar.” The Steelers know Pickett is a competitor who enjoys a 12-round brawl. This is the same quarterback who lights up at the memory of running over current Bills corner Dane Jackson back in college as a freshman. He wants to genuinely earn the respect of his teammates. All teammates.
“I think it’s one of the more important things at quarterback,” Pickett says. “To build the relationships with guys on offense, defense and special teams. You’re the leader of the entire football team — not just the offense.”
This didn’t happen overnight. But after a healthy reset during the bye week, Pickett went 7-2. He could’ve gone 9-0, too, missing virtually all of one loss with a concussion and losing to Cincinnati by one score. Guts in the clutch quickly became the theme. A Christmas Eve comeback win over Las Vegas (13-10) and a New Year’s Day comeback win over Baltimore (16-13) toward the end of the season both felt like breakthroughs to Pickett, who maintains the key to his poise under pressure is being ultra-prepared.
That way, he’s not overthinking. He’s simply “letting it go.”
Of course, that’s easier said than done. An infinite number of quarterbacks have studied like brain surgeons and failed to bring the goods when it matters.
That’s why these two games were extra sweet. Pickett became the first rookie in NFL history to throw a game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute of a fourth quarter in back-to-back games. First, vs. Vegas, the wind chill was minus-11 degrees at kickoff and only colder by the time Pickett steered a 76-yard drive to win. A fourth-and-1 sneak kept the drive alive with 50 seconds to go and then Pickett rifled the winner to George Pickens. Next, in Baltimore, he escaped a sack and fired a strike to Najee Harris up the left sideline.
Adds Pickett: “I said, ‘I’ve got a shot at being really good with this.’”
The Ravens win stood out most to Sullivan. He knows how eager Pickett was to face an AFC North rival on Monday Night Football after missing out at home.
“For him to perform the way he did in that venue, on national TV, against a heck of a defense,” Sullivan says, “with the poise and the confidence and the toughness and the ability to make plays when we needed him, it really stood out and made us excited about what the future could hold. He’s worked extremely hard through the offseason, through the spring, through training camp, the preseason. I’m so thrilled to work with him.”
Pickett attacked the offseason exactly as you’d expect. Down in Florida, he’d run or throw or lift for half the day. Then, every night, he spent an hour studying film. More specifically, Pickett hyper-analyzed every single one of his pass attempts. He wanted to make sure he had a specific “checklist” on what to improve. When Pickett reconvened with Sullivan in Pittsburgh, their notes matched to a “T.” No. 1, Pickett needed to synchronize his feet with his progressions. Needed to trust his offensive line more with “subtle movements” in the pocket. No. 2 — when he does choose to scramble — Pickett wanted to do a better job of keeping his eyes downfield for big plays. Thirdly, he sought complete mastery of the system. Early on as a rookie, Pickett admits he was in a very “A-B-C” mindset. Operate the play. Simply do his job with very minimal creativity. The first time he even threw to some guys was in that Jets game.
Now, he’s ready. He’s been able to gain more chemistry with Diontae Johnson, George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth. Five touchdowns on five preseason drives supplied a tease. If you thought Pickett looked bigger, you’re onto something. After the Steelers’ final game against Cleveland, he was 213 pounds. Now, he’s up to 226. Training for football, instead of a Combine, was a nice change.
Pickett began each day with a 1,200-calorie protein shake from Smoothie King and put on 1 ½ pounds per week. The result has been a major spike in explosion. Not only as an athlete running around, but also in his torque as a passer. Expect each spiral to spin with more velocity.
Sullivan echoes this all. That ability to scramble is handy — and Pickett’s always been more of an athlete than anyone thinks. But the Steelers want Pickett climbing the pocket more in 2023.
Pittsburgh was his preferred destination. The stability, ownership on down, was appealing. Ken Sr. calls this “a match made in heaven” and sees major similarities in Narduzzi and Tomlin. It’d be understandable if Kenny was thinking the opposite on draft day, if Kenny was yearning to get the hell out of the city he’s called home since 2017. On the contrary, into Year 7 as a Yinzer, familiarity is a great thing. Feeds more of the same. All that’s changed is the fact that he walks through a new front door 20 feet away, returns home to a nicer place and his girlfriend is now his wife.
No QB in Pitt history had more fourth-quarter comebacks. And he did it right on this same football field. Nothing will change.
“He wants the ball in his hands, in that moment,” Ken Pickett says. “Where people don’t like it, he loves it. … I tell everybody: I wouldn’t bet against him and just let him write his story. If there’s one kid I wouldn’t bet against, it’s that kid.”
Adds Racioppi: “You add variables, you add pressure, the better Kenny Pickett gets.”
There’s no need for Kenny Pickett to force this whole leadership thing. When he looks around, he sees players with the same swag as him. The quarterback loved how everyone celebrated after Jaylen Warren’s touchdown against Atlanta in the preseason — there was obvious “juice.” He sees guys having far more fun than they ever did last season, back when the Steelers’ offense hyperventilated for two months. It was ugly. It took the whole season for this unit to get going.
Now, the offense won’t stagnate because Kenny Pickett is never stagnant. He’s been on a steady ascent his entire life… with a timely beer-chug on stage with Luke Combs. List off the names of other quarterbacks in the AFC and Pickett simply calls them all “great competitors.” He knows you’re not ready to put his name with Mahomes and Burrow and Allen.
Mainly because he knows there are people across the country who believe he still has a strict ceiling.
“That’s OK. That’s fine. That’s all part of the game,” he says. “But I want to see where I end up at the end of the road. Hopefully the road’s a long one.”
With that, the street dog smiles knowing full well he’ll be in for a street fight with the San Francisco 49ers in a few days. The first of many.
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