Saturday, January 21, 2023

Steelers QB Kenny Pickett makes a strong statement about Mike Tomlin

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It’s paramount that the relationship between a quarterback and their head coach be solid, especially during a QB’s formative years. And that’s exactly what Kenny Pickett has with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

And while the relationship came naturally, Pickett had to earn it through work ethic.

“You have to show up every day and be consistent in your work and in the way you run your business,” Pickett said Jan. 19 Pat McAfee Show. “But once we’ve been successful on the field, you just build that close bond. We’ve spent a lot of time together preparing, so you get closer and closer as you do this. Soccer is a special game and you build a lot of great bonds. We are definitely building something special and we will continue to do so.”

Pickett also praised Tomlin on his teammate’s podcast earlier in the week.

“[Tomlin’s] just such a real guy,” he said on the January 17 episode of Not Just Football with Cam Heyward. “What you see is what you get from him and he’s the same every day, which I appreciate as a player.”

Pickett is blown away by Tomlin’s approach to his role. “He’s wired and locked up like that all the time. I don’t even know how that’s even possible, when we get there at five or six in the morning the guy is just ready to go. He loves the game, he loves his job, he loves the guys on the team.”

Being a freshman under a coach like Mike Tomlin was invaluable to Pickett.

“He really kind of took me under his wing… From a prep standpoint, because he’s a defensive guy, I loved picking at his brain,” Pickett said. “He noticed that I was really concentrating on the preparation. We were a really good match in that regard.”

Pickett explained how Tomlin helped him complement and shape his routine and suggested when, what and how to watch the tape to get a better feel for his upcoming opponent.

“We had some failures early on but he always kept my head up. He always pushed me forward.”

Staying confident and steadfast helped Pickett a lot throughout the season.

“And then we had success in the backend season,” he said. “I think it really came from those failures and learning from mistakes. And he kind of showed me the way as we were walking.”

“I got nothing but love for Coach T man that’s my type. I will go to war for him every day.”

the first fourth Kenny Pickett’s season at the helm of the legendary franchise’s offense has been tough. The rookie threw two touchdowns on nine interceptions for a 66.8 passer rating in his first four games, and the Steelers were 1-3.

But Pickett came off Nov. 6, Week 9, with another quarterback. The Steelers finished the second leg of their season 7-2 when Pickett threw for five points to only have an 84.4 passer rating.

Though the conservative offense lacked momentum, Pickett improved and took care of football, and Pittsburgh won games.

“I believe [the offense] After bye week we really made progress and we figured out what it takes to win and what that recipe looks like,” Pickett said Jan. 17 on Cam Heyward’s Not Just Football podcast.

And when Steelers Nation had doubts about Mike Tomlin sticking with offensive coordinator Matt Canada, Pickett pretty much answered, “I look forward to continuing to work with him this offseason.”

The day after Pickett’s interview, it was reported (and confirmed by the team) that the Steelers are keeping the embattled coordinator.

Pickett is confident the offense could turn with “more explosive plays.”

“We continue to grow as a team and as an offense, but we just have to make the leap into the second year,” he said. “We need more explosive plays and he’s doing a great job. I’m trying to figure out what we need to do to get those and get even more points.”

Hopefully it will be a full offseason with Kenny Pickett getting first-team representatives and Matt Canada learning from the past the Steelers need to go.

Though the conservative offense lacked momentum, Pickett improved and took care of football, and Pittsburgh won games.

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