Tony Racioppi sees ‘night and day’ difference in last season’s Kenny Pickett

Regardless of the skill, you are expected to improve with more time and practice.

This is the case for many NFL players as they transition from college play to pros, having to adapt to the increased speed of play and high level of competition they face each week. Rookie season tends to be a “trial by fire” experience for many players who try to jump on the moving bandwagon and learn on the fly, expecting to be more comfortable from here. the league’s second year.

That appears to be the case with Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett, who was thrown into the fire last season, coming off the bench at halftime in Week 4 against the New York Jets in hopes of unleashing a stagnant offense . The following week, Pickett was assigned to travel to Buffalo to face a powerhouse Bills team in his first-ever NFL start.

Pickett suffered many growing pains in his first season but showed promise for the Steelers, who rallied in the second half. Speaking on 93.7 The Fan, Pickett’s QB coach Tony Racioppi spoke about the visible difference he’s seen in Pickett from last season at this point in the offseason.

“If you compare last year, it’s night and day,” Racioppi told 93.7 The Fan. “I think last year was kind of like, okay, ‘What am I doing?’ You walk in there like a blind man, just trying to figure things out, like you don’t even know how practice is going. This year, it’s total ownership, right? It’s the leader. So, you go there, you know what you’re doing, you know the pattern, you know the formations, you know the concepts, you know your footwork, you know the drills, you know how the practice is structured, you have timing down guys you’re going to pitch with.

Pickett’s teammates have praised his work ethic and commitment to his craft so far during OTAs. LB Elandon Roberts said Pickett was ‘light years away’ from other players his age while WR Calvin Austin III mentioned Pickett was setting an example for him and the rest of the team in terms of his commitment to improve and hold others accountable. The standard.

HC Mike Tomlin mentioned a while ago that he expects Pickett to kill him this season, calling 2023 his second run and that he knows what the expectations are of him and how to specifically meet those expectations. . Pickett is committed to improving this offseason, initiating player-led workouts with his teammates while showing up at the facility ahead of OTAs to get more work done to prepare for team-led activities. Add to that a full year of experience under his belt and it’s fair to expect Pickett to be much further along at this point compared to his rookie season with that experience and development which will hopefully give better results on the football field in 2023.

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