PITTSBURGH — For the third time since committing to Pitt, Kenny Pickett will have a new offensive coordinator in 2019, but he still posses a positive attitude and outlook leading into his third spring camp with the Panthers.
Pickett, now a junior from Oakhurst, New Jersey, will look to improve his passing game under new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple as he was inconsistent last season in a very run-heavy offense.
Whipple, a proven, veteran coach has groomed the likes of future NFL Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger, will look to do the same right across the hall with Kenny Pickett during his final two seasons at Pitt.
Pickett has a lot of respect for his new coach and is definitely excited to learn from a man with so much coaching experience.
“He’s a really intelligent guy, he has a lot of experience,” Pickett said after practice on Wednesday. “I have two years left of college ball and I really just want to learn as much as I can from him. He has a ton of knowledge that I want to learn from and I want to use it to help my game.”
Pickett was originally recruited by Matt Canada to come to Pitt before Canada eventually accepted the offensive coordinator job at LSU and he was then mentored by offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson for two seasons. But Pickett is not concerned about the transition from one coach to the next.
“It’s smooth. Everyone has different ways of calling things but it’s all relatively the same,” Pickett said. “In terms of mechanics, it is all the same. Everyone has their own kind of style. I just like learning from different people. Like you said, three quarterback coaches, I got to hear from three different people and their opinions on how to read things and what is the best way to do things. They all have different ways but at the end of the day they all work so its kind of figuring out which is the best way that you feel, that fits your game and how you can mold it to make the offense better.”
Even though Pickett does not think the transition to Whipple’s offense will be an issue, it does mean that Pitt’s offense is starting from scratch this spring.
“I mean yeah, new offenses completely start over,” Pickett said. “I just completely focus on what I have to do for the offense and completely focus on my job before I go and help anyone else. Because if I don’t know whats going on then, we are in trouble. It’s really just getting in my playbook for a couple of hours a day and focusing on bettering myself as a player and helping the offense.”
Pickett and the new-look, Whipple-led offense will be looking to make positive strides during the 2019 season after many criticized the team’s stagnant, one-dimensional offense last year under Watson.