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Kenny Pickett: I’m expecting a big jump in Year Two

Mike Florio and Chris Simms outline why Aaron Rodgers will have the most to prove out of all the QBs who are on new teams next season.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said last week that he’s excited about how much he believes quarterback Kenny Pickett can grow in his second season with the team and Pickett didn’t take much time off before getting to work on doing that growth.

Pickett said that he took about a week off after the end of the Steelers season and then resumed training because he felt he “wasn’t acting myself” without it. He worked out with teammates last month to get a jump start on the offseason program and continue the progress he felt he made over the course of his rookie season.

“The biggest growth for me was mentally,” Pickett said, via the team’s website. “Just understanding of the system. It comes with reps. You want that fast. You can study on paper, you can study in the film room, but sometimes you really just need to go through some things and see it with your own eyes and then watch yourself go through it on tape. I felt like my growth mentally, when I’m out there processing things faster, week by week I saw growth. That’s always a real positive thing. Now I just want to keep growing there. . . . There are so many things I’m going to go through here in this offseason in order for me to take that big jump in Year Two, which I’m expecting myself to do. There were so many new things coming in this year that you can’t even put into this one interview that you’re going through as a rookie quarterback in the NFL. I just got so much more comfortable from the first day I walked in here to the last day of the season. It’s like night and day. I felt like I’ve been here for two or three years versus one season, how much time I’ve been around everybody. So having that groundwork, that base, the work in the offseason. I’m really excited.”

There’s plenty of excitement about Pickett in Pittsburgh after his rookie season and anything less than the kind of jump that Pickett projects for himself will likely be viewed as a disappointing development for the AFC North club.