PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is using a new tool — and a new film-watching partner — to make the most out of his practice time during the team’s OTAs and minicamp this spring.
Pickett has been wearing a camera on his helmet during practices this spring, giving him something else to watch while he spends hours studying up practice film.
Pickett said the first thing that he noticed when he started checking out the new film angle is how hard it really is to see from inside the pocket, even on tape.
“It’s just hard to see, honestly, through the camera, play with bodies in your face,” Pickett said. “It’s different, obviously, being back there playing, but there’s some things you can take from it.”
Pickett said that it has been helpful to be able to confirm that he was seeing what he thought he saw live, instead of wondering about his recollection after the fact.
“I want to be able to articulate to Coach Sully [quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan] what I saw,” he said. “And when I go back and watch it on tape and it’s what exactly what I saw, it kind of verifies what I’m seeing.”
One of the biggest things that Pickett has been able to see with that new camera angle is being able to identify where his eyes were looking pre-snap and just before he made his throw, in an attempt to avoid having tells that the defense can take advantage of.
In that regard, Pickett has a secret weapon right there in the film room with him. The area the team has set up for players to watch extra film on the second floor of their UPMC Rooney Sports Complex facility has included free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick this spring, and Pickett said that has given him the ability to bounce some things off his All-Pro counterpart.
“A lot of the times I’m sitting there with him, asking questions and stuff and he’s the best in the league, I think, at his position,” Pickett said. “So to be able to sit there with him and kind of pick his brain on what he sees and how he acts in the secondary helps me.”
So now, Pickett has his own recollection of a play, the high-level tape, his helmet camera, and the recollection of one of the best safeties in football. There’s only one natural step left.
“I want to put it on Mink and see what he looks at,” Pickett said.
While Fitzpatrick is a multiple-time All-Pro and one of the very best safeties in the world, Pickett hopes that their film-watching partnership becomes a two-way street. While he has a ways to go to reach Fitzpatrick’s level of prowess among his peers, Pickett hopes to be able help the vet in the film room, as well:
“I hope I can be showing him.”