Steeler’s QB Kenny Pickett’s giant goal for this season
Kenny Pickett was thrust into the starting quarterback role for the Steelers last season, and he did not disappoint. The rookie from Pitt took over the job from Mitch Trubisky and finished the year with 2,404 yards passing yards, 237 rushing yards, and ten total touchdowns over 13 games. Pickett did throw nine interceptions but still finished with a 7-6 record.
Pickett was helped by the emergence of rookie receiver George Pickens. The 22-year-old proved a reliable target for Pickett and finished the season with 801 yards and four touchdowns. While the Steelers failed to make the playoffs, the promise of this young combination has fans excited for the future.
Pickett’s new goal
Kenny Pickett has been making the off-season media rounds, and his goal has been very clear. The young quarterback is focused solely on winning. He isn’t setting goals on statistical improvements, awards, or national recognition. Pickett simply wants to be the quarterback that returns the Steelers franchise to its winning ways.
While this isn’t a statement unique to Pickett, he has gone above and beyond to ensure he meets that goal. The quarterback has been spending his offseason on the practice field, focused on growing as a quarterback. While other players are enjoying the offseason, Pickett is running drills and pouring over tapes to improve his game.
While it is easy to dismiss a statement like this in the offseason, it seems clear that Pickett will take his game to another level this fall.
Expectations for the Steelers’ passing offense this season
No one is happier about Kenny Pickett’s goal than Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada. The embattled coordinator has been under fire as the Steelers’ offense has struggled, but he’ll get at least one more chance this season. A big reason for his return is his history of working with young quarterbacks. That means his work with Pickett this season will likely determine if he remains with the Steelers in 2024.
The good news for Canada and Steelers fans is that this offense should be improved. They have a young passing duo with Pickett and Pickens, which is a great start. Pickens is expected to be a top receiver in the league next season, which should be boosted by the signing of receiver Allen Robinson. The veteran’s best days are behind him, but he is still a solid possession receiver. He’ll slot in behind Pickens and star Diontae Johnson.
Diontae Johnson is an established star but failed to connect well with Pickett last season. That led to him being shopped during the trade deadline, but he will be a crucial part of this offensive rebuild instead. Johnson had an impressive 1,161 yards in 2021 and could break that record this season, as he has an entire offseason to gel with Pickett.
What bookmakers expect from the Steelers this season
While the NFL draft has not arrived, PA online sports betting sites already have their futures set for next season. That includes Super Bowl, conference, and division odds available to bet on now. With Pickett’s goal and dedication to improving, many bettors like the Steelers to be a dark horse to win their division and return to the playoffs. However, the bookmakers are still not sold on Pittsburgh’s improvement.
While Pickett and the Steelers like their chances to improve this season, bookmakers see it differently. FanDuel Sportsbook currently has Pittsburgh at +6000 to win the Super Bowl and +650 to win the AFC North. They predict the Steelers to finish last in the AFC North, showing that they haven’t seen enough to make them believe Pickett will improve the Steelers’ offense.