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NFL Network analyst believes Kenny Pickett will ‘thrive’ in Matt Canada’s system


When trying to fit members of the 2022 NFL Draft class at quarterback into ideal landing spots based on general pattern and fit, you’d be hard pressed to find a better spot. touchdown for Kenny Pickett than the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Having spent the past five years in Pittsburgh as the starting quarterback for the Pitt Panthers, Pickett is quite familiar not only with the city itself, but also with the Steelers facilities and staff.

As an athletic quarterback who throws well on the run and can create off the structure, Pickett fits pretty well into the system of sophomore offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who needs a quarterback to be able to use his legs a bit, bringing that extra dimension to the offense as a whole.

That was missing in 2021 with an aging Ben Roethlisberger, essentially crippling the Canadian system, but there’s no excuse for 2022 with Pickett and veteran Mitch Trubisky in the fold. With Pickett vying for the starting job overall, NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks believes the Steelers first-year quarterback will “thrive” in the Canadian system once he’s in the lineup.

“Following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers needed a modern quarterback with the athletic talent and arms to incorporate some of the college concepts that have taken the NFL by storm. That’s why they first signed Trubisky in free agency and then drafted Pickett,” Brooks writes. “With offensive coordinator Matt Canada intent on adding some of his favorite wrinkles from his days as a college play caller (pre-snap moves and changes, RPOs, jet sweeps), the Pitt product should flourish in a much more imaginative system than we’ve seen in Pittsburgh in years.

The further we get from the NFL Draft, the clearer the fit and general interest in Pickett should have been from an outsider’s perspective. Canada, of course, originally recruited Pickett from Pittsburgh, and his offense hasn’t changed much since leaving Pittsburgh in 2016 after a banner year heading to LSU.

Although he was widely considered a mid-term prospect ahead of his Heisman Trophy finalist season in 2021, Pickett brings exactly what the Steelers are looking for under head coach Mike Tomlin, bringing much-needed mobility and the ability to create out of structure, as well as overall impressive accuracy while on the go.

It’s reminiscent of the early days of the Ben Roethlisberger era in the mid-2000s. Pickett isn’t Roethlisberger, but there are some similarities overall. In a heavy approach under Canada with second-year running back Najee Harris, Pickett should be able to transition into the program fairly quickly, fitting in well into the Canadian system, which should improve the offensive offense. of the Steelers overall.

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