The Pittsburgh Steelers are officially entering the first full year of the Kenny Pickett era.
After claiming the starting quarterback job in the middle of the 2022 season, Pickett now has had a full offseason of preparing to be the Week 1 starter for the Steelers.
After making the playoffs in 2020 and 2021, the Steelers took a step back in 2022, struggling to navigate through the season with a rookie quarterback. But Pickett’s experience should serve the Steelers well as 2023 comes in.
“Pickett is trending in the right direction, and he should show more growth after his second full offseason and first as the established starter under offensive coordinator Matt Canada,” Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox writes.
“If Canada is willing to open up the playbook, Pickett could soar. He’ll be leading a strong roster that added the likes of Patrick Peterson, Allen Robinson II and rookie tackle Broderick Jones, and while might not be ready to carry the team yet, he stands a very good chance of steering the Steelers back into the postseason.”
In 12 games as a starter last year, Pickett went 7-5 but threw for just 2,404 yards and seven touchdowns against nine interceptions. If Pickett can unlock the next step to his game and Canada can create a more nuanced playbook for his quarterback, it could be the thing that helps the Steelers go from the couch to the gridiron in the middle of January.