The Pittsburgh Steelers are truly in a new era, and this will be the first season with quarterback Kenny Pickett as the starter from the jump. Pickett helped the offense improve down the 2022 stretch, which coincided with his improved play as well, and is now looking to take both his game and the Steelers’ offense to the next level.
One way he is doing that is through his leadership, which tight end Pat Freiermuth lauded today in an interview provided by the Steelers’ PR department.
“He’s been hell of a leader this whole offseason, getting guys together, having meetings with guys and he’s been great,” Freiermuth said. “He’s the type of guy you want to play hard for and win with. And we’re all excited for his development and we’re all excited to do it for him as a leader.”
Pickett has indeed done a good job of bringing the team, and specifically the offensive skill guys, together to build chemistry. Over the winter he got a bunch of the offense down to join him in Florida to train together and hone their craft. Freiermuth also mentioned Pickett having meetings with offensive players, something that was not known to the public until today.
This all shows how good of a leader Pickett is and how his teammates want to play with and win with him, but just because Pickett is a good leader doesn’t mean the team will be good. The overall play from the Steelers’ offense has to improve and Freiermuth acknowledged that.
Freierumuth was asked if anything new was going to be added to the offense this season and said he did not know. However, he did mention that the offense has to be more accountable and cut down on mental mistakes.
“We’ve got to, especially as players, hone in on (fixing) missed assignments last year and hone in on trusting everyone and making sure everyone is going to be there with accountability.”
The Steelers’ offense last year was not good, and many people believed it was a little too predictable. However, an offense can be predictable but very hard to stop if the plays are run the right way with every player doing his part to perfection.
Pittsburgh should definitely add more plays and try new things this season to keep defenses on their toes, but the Steelers also need to do a better job of executing their existing plays. Towards the end of last season, the Steelers started doing a better job moving the ball down field but then stalled once they hit the red zone. Pittsburgh needs better execution in the red zone area because it showed it could move the football down the field.
One way the offense can improve is if Pickett takes a second-year leap and the game continues to slow down for him. As Freiermuth said, Pickett is a leader and has shown that he is doing a lot to improve and work on building chemistry with his teammates, which will help. But the whole offense needs to be accountable if for it to take a big jump this season.