Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is looking for one big thing from Kenny Pickett as the rookie quarterback settles into training camp: Playmaking.
First and foremost in 2022, the Steelers need to figure out their quarterback situation for this season, whether it’s Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph or first-round draft pick Kenny Pickett.
While training camp for Trubisky and Rudolph should stay focused on winning the starting job, for Pickett it’s all about proving he can adapt to the pro game quickly. The sooner he can do that, the sooner he can justify the faith Pittsburgh put in him by drafting him No. 20 overall.
Head coach Mike Tomlin revealed specifically what he wants to see from his rookie quarterback after Day 6 of training camp.
Steelers: What Mike Tomlin is waiting to see from Kenny Pickett
“Playmaking,” Tomlin said, via Steelers.com. “You know he’s not a 7B [second pick of the 7th round], you know what I mean. We expect quality playmaking and a quick maturation process and we like the things he has done thus far.”
Pickett may not have to start immediately with Trubisky and Rudolph available to directly replace Ben Roethlisberger for the time being. However, he was drafted as the long-term answer for the franchise at the QB position. He’s going to have to be expected to make plays sooner than later.
As Tomlin said, he doesn’t have the luxury of coming in as an unheralded late-round selection. He has expectations to live up to.
He struggled in the opening week of camp, but since August began he has started to come around, according to observers. He’s even been taking second-team reps. That should be encouraging to Tomlin and fans.