5 Pittsburgh Steelers players poised to improve in 2023

One player has nowhere to go but up; a 2022 rookie without a plan will figure things out in year two.

Steelers, Najee Harris
Steelers, Najee Harris / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Kenny Pickett will take the next step

This one seems automatic, though crazier things have happened. When Kenny Pickett was thrown to the wolves at halftime of Week 4 against a talented New York Jets defense, he showed promise with his ability to extend the play and make things happen with his legs. However, he was also prone to giving the ball away.

Many of these turnovers weren't his fault as several came off tipped passes or plays that should have been made by the receivers. Still, it's safe to say that he showed improvement down the stretch. While he was playing game-managing football, Pickett went 6-1 over his final seven starts (excluding the first game against Baltimore when he threw just one pass before suffering a concussion).

In addition to this, Pickett tied Ben Roethlisberger's career high with four fourth-quarter comeback wins in one season -- including two very impressive game-winning drives against the Raiders on Christmas Eve and the Ravens on New Year's Day.

Pickett might not have the biggest arm, but he has the perfect attitude and mentality that will help him make a sizeable second-year leap. The improved offensive line and progress from players like George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth in 2023 could help ensure this leap happens for the young quarterback.

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