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Steelers QB Kenny Pickett ‘works his tail off,’ says Cam Heyward

Kenny Pickett is earning respect in the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room.

NFL: Preseason-Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering the 2023 season with a new captain on board, and his name is Kenny Pickett.

The second-year quarterback was named a team captain alongside veterans Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt and Miles Killebrew.

The captaincy is a sign that Pickett has earned the respect in the locker room, even among the most respected voices on the team.

“Kenny is just a kid who continues to work his tail off,” Heyward told “Whether its offseason, in season, communication, he has grown leaps and bounds from last year. With that there is a leadership role. Whether that’s challenging guys on the field, holding guys accountable, working on your communication, having the dialogue back and forth with your guys. That is what a leader should be.

“We love that Kenny worked his tail off and everyone sees it. We bounce ideas off each other. We have communication. Whether this is the time to press the gas and challenge guys. You have to be able to challenge guys when you need to, but you have to be able to listen too. As a leader it’s not always just having the biggest voice in the room but making sure you hear what guys are saying.”

After starting only 12 games last season, Pickett now enters his second NFL season as the clear-cut starter with the potential of becoming the Steelers’ next franchise quarterback. Part of being the team’s franchise quarterback is having the respect as a leader, and it’s clear that Pickett has earned and received that.

Pickett will lead the Steelers in Sunday’s season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Acrisure Stadium.