When players reported to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Monday, quarterback Kenny Pickett looked noticeably bigger in terms of his weight. Okay, okay, he may not be “Big Ken,” but Pickett’s weight gain is a good sign for the Steelers.
Pickett’s personal quarterback coach, Tony Racioppi joined 93.7 The Fan to talk about the second-year quarterback’s offseason and new appearance. Racioppi said that after the Steelers’ season ended, Pickett checked in with the University of Pittsburgh’s “Iron Works” and received a personal program for the offseason.
“The University of Pittsburgh’s strength staff is second to none. He met with them after the season and got a program from those guys. He started it there and when he came down to Florida for two and a half months, he gave that program to the guys that do the training at the facility that I work at and he got after it,” said Racioppi.
After slimming down for the combine prior to last season and playing at around 213 pounds, Pickett is currently sitting around 226 pounds. Pickett’s weight gain did not come out of anywhere as he mentioned earlier in the year that plans were in place to put on some mass in the offseason.
“He looks great. It’s not like he went down and ate cheeseburgers and sat on his butt. He put some size on. He got strong,” added Racioppi.
With some extra size and strength, Pickett may be able to avoid some of the injuries that plagued his rookie campaign. Pickett suffered two concussions in 2022.
“It’s [finding] the balance between putting on size and being strong to stay healthy through a season, but also at the same time, not get too big that he loses the athleticism which is such a big part of his game,” said Racioppi.
As the Steelers saw improvements with Pickett’s game after the bye week, the team anticipates another jump in year two. Pickett is also determined to improve day in and day out.
“In order to be great, you have to have a love for the game. I want to be one of the best… I’m ready to take it on,” said Pickett earlier in the week.
Racioppi also hinted at Pickett’s worth ethic and motivations.
“He’s one of those dudes where it is like ‘here are my goals and I am working and I am not stopping until I hit them,'” said Racioppi.
Pickett’s jump in year two is crucial for the Steelers’ “rebuild” but with a full offseason to train and improve as an actual football player, the Steelers should be excited about what is next with the young quarterback.