June 17, 2024

USA Today

Kenny Pickett’s hands received plenty of attention leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft. Along with questions regarding his hand size, Pickett’s decision to wear gloves on both his throwing and non-throwing hand has raised eyebrows, as most quarterbacks prefer to go without a glove on their throwing hand. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback recently shared the reason why he wears gloves on both hands during games. It dates to Pickett’s sophomore season at Pitt, when the Panthers hosted North Carolina on a chilly November night. 

“I did it once my sophomore year, but really after that North Carolina game you called, I stuck with it after that game,” Pickett said during a recent appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “After that game, I kind of stuck with it. Coach (Mark) Whipple was like, ‘You know, it doesn’t have to be cold to rock the gloves.’ So I’ve worn them since then on out. …  It’s just kind of something that I enjoy and I just feel more comfortable with it.”

Given his success that night against the Tar Heels, Pickett’s decision to stick with wearing two gloves makes perfect sense. He threw for 359 yards that included a 74-yard touchdown pass. Pickett also ran for two scores while leading the Panthers to a 34-27 win. 

Pickett said that his transition from using a college to a pro football has been smooth. He said that he inserted an NFL football into his training last year in order to help prepare him for life at the next level. As far as the Steelers’ offense is concerned, Pickett feels that offensive coordinator Matt Canada will look to showcase his mobility, as well as the mobility of the rest of the team’s quarterbacks. Mobility was one thing the Steelers’ brass wasn’t shy about when discussing what it wanted from Ben Roethlisberger’s initial successor. 

“That’s an aspect of my game that I’m excited to show,” said Pickett, whose infamous fake slide in Pitt’s win over Wake Forest in last year’s ACC title game led to the creation of a new NCAA rule. “I think the game’s kind of changed. You look around the league, a lot of guys are athletic and they extend plays, and that’s how a lot of big plays happen. Coach Whipple really helped my game, keep my eyes down the field and finding receivers and making big time plays. So that’s something I think I’ll definitely use in Coach Canada’s offense, and he naturally kind of integrates it with how he moves the pocket and does a lot of great things. So I’m excited to kind of show that this camp.”

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