Lessons from Peyton Manning Could Boost Pitt QB Pickett

Panthers signal caller spent time as counselor and participant at prestigious camp

Josh Rowntree
July 10, 2019 - 4:00 pm
Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) drops back to pass the ball in the first quarter against the Clemson Tigers in the ACC championship game at Bank of America Stadium.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - As far as teachers come, Kenny Pickett may have had the opportunity to learn from the best. 

Pickett, Pitt’s rising junior quarterback, recently spent time as a counselor and participant at the acclaimed Manning Passing Academy camp, put on by Archie, Peyton, Eli and Cooper Manning. 

“It definitely gives you more confidence,” Pickett said Wednesday. “It’s different watching other quarterbacks on film and watching other people on film and going out there competing with them, throwing with them. So I know where I stack up and I know where I’m at.”

Pickett was invited to the Louisiana-based camp, made for quarterbacks of various levels and age groups, via a text message from Archie Manning. While there, he was able to bond with Peyton Manning.

"We kind of clicked the first day,” Pickett said. “We were talking more. He saw me throwing the first day and, at night, we sat down at dinner and talked for an hour. A really cool experience. I just asked new questions and tried to soak up as much as I can from a guy like that. I think it will benefit me in the long run.”

Manning did not discuss much of Pickett’s throwing motions or mechanics but, instead, the two went over the off-the-field  responsibilities of the quarterback position.

“We were talking about how to prepare, how to watch film,” said Pickett, who added that he has gained roughly eight pounds of muscle this offseason. “Those were the questions I was asking. How he went through his week and streamlined the information he saw in the film room to bring it out on the field.”

No one knows better than Peyton Manning about preparation. His film study habits are legendary. So Pickett, who passed for 1,969 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, got to get a glimpse into what made into a future first ballot Hall of Famer.

“Hearing Peyton Manning talk and getting as much information from him, how I see things and how he sees things, and being somewhat on the same page, it definitely gives you more confidence in how you prepare and how you go about your business come Saturday,” he said.”

One of the highlights of the event for Pickett was a “chalk talk” session with Peyton Manning, in which players can ask Manning questions about the quarterback position.

“I took probably ten pages of notes,” he said. “I didn’t pick my head up once. I’d ask a couple of questions then had my head down, just writing as much as I could down. So I’ll save that notepad and can look back on that stuff as the season goes on.”

While Pickett had the opportunity to learn, he also was able to teach, spending time with seventh and eighth grade students at the camp. 

“It’s definitely a lot different when you’re getting taught versus teaching,” he said. When you’re teaching, you have to know your stuff really well. It was a fun age to coach. 

“Young kids ask a lot of questions, they’re really interested in learning. They all were locked in, they wanted to be there and get the most out of camp.”

Hear all of Kenny Pickett’s talk with the media below.

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