Kenny Pickett addresses Philadelphia media after trade to Eagles

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett throws against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

After acquiring him from the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Eagles have found their backup quarterback of the future in Kenny Pickett. Growing up an Eagles fan, Pickett had plenty of excitement as he addressed the media earlier today.

Kenny Pickett sits down with the media

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett looks for a receiver during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Right off the bat, Pickett was asked about coming to the team he cheered on growing up:

It’s pretty unbelievable honestly. I’ve been coming to games playing since I was like five years old. You know, I have great memories of my dad taking me here. My grandfather, all my family members coming out to the games, you know together and just having great memories and the fact that, hopefully, I can help provide some great memories for some other families now coming up, it’s pretty surreal in a full circle moment.

Pickett was then asked about how disappointing things were that the situation in Pittsburgh did not work out:

I gave everything I had there and loved all my teammates and the coaches that I came across. Some absolute great memories that I’ll take forever and lifelong friendships and talking to guys after it all went down, [I’m] just grateful that we had the time we had together in which you know, everyone over there nothing but the best.

Reflecting on why now was the time for a change, Pickett expressed how this particular opportunity ahead of him:

I just thought it was time, it just felt like it was time, from the things that transpired and wanting to get a chance to go somewhere else and continue to grow my career and the fact that it’s in Philly, the place that I grew up, found a love for the game here with a great coaching staff, great players. I’m looking forward to meeting all these guys in a couple weeks when everyone gets back into town, but I think it’s an awesome opportunity here to join this team.

It goes without saying, including to Pickett, that Jalen Hurts is the Eagles’ starting quarterback. When asked how he views his role given that context, Pickett mentioned a team-first mentality:

Yeah, I just want to help the team win in any way I can. I talked to Jalen and Tanner, and they seemed like great guys. I got to meet coach Nussmeier and coach Moore today. I just want to be a great addition to the room and help the team out in any way I can.

Pickett was asked about what interactions he had with the team ahead of the 2022 NFL draft:

Yeah, I had a couple of interactions. Obviously, I knew a lot about the city and the team, but getting to know more about the day-to-day, the coaching staff, and the people who work behind the scenes all seem like great people. It seems like a place where I can definitely fit in and share the same core values. So, you know, I’m looking forward to joining here.

Pickett is originally from Ocean Township, New Jersey. Specifically, the more northern of the two Ocean Townships in NJ. Pickett was asked about how he became an Eagles fan in Giants territory:

Yeah, my dad grew up in Philly for a couple years before he went over to Ocean Township. So I think that’s where it started, and he passed it down to me. But off the top of my head, McNabb, Westbrook, Dawkins, Celek, Trotter, Kearse, just those coming up, those are those are my guys. Vivid memories of them run out of the tunnel [and] now that I’ll be doing that same trot. You know, I’m pretty excited.

Pickett was asked about the reports that came out of Pittsburgh about how he handled the acquisition of Russell Wilson. Pickett responded confidently:

I think the communication. It is what it is. It was behind closed doors. I’m confident in the way that I handled it; I handled it the way I should have handled it. I’m excited to be here. It worked out so well that Philly was a place I ended up landing again. So I think everything happens for a reason. And you know, right where I’m supposed to be.

Pickett was then asked about his potential fit in the Eagles’ offensive scheme:

“Yeah, I do. Watching some of the Eagles stuff last year, some of the RPO stuff they get Jalen on the move a lot. I feel like I can do a lot of the same things. Then, watching Coach Moore’s stuff in LA and Dallas, what he did with Dak. What he did with Justin in LA. I think, getting under center, being in a gun, I think I can do both those things. I think I showed that in Pittsburgh.

I think they’re gonna figure out the system now doing what they did last year here and at their previous places, you know, terminology-wise and scheme-wise. So, you know, I’m excited to learn and just take in as much as I can.

It’s tough because I don’t really know what the scheme is yet. So it’s finding out what the playbook looks like and tying it into my game and, and just trying to polish up things in the pocket. You know, a lot of that goes with what we’re doing schematically, so you know, once I learned that, you know, formulate a plan, you know, with the coaches, continue to improve my game.”

In addition to the reports of how Pickett left Pittsburgh, he was also asked about reports about his alleged refusal to suit up as the emergency third quarterback last season:

I think that goes back to a lot of the communication behind closed doors that didn’t go the way that I feel like they wanted, how it was getting released. There was a plan there for that game. It went down exactly the way it was planned to go down that entire week. Went off the ankle surgery. So it is what it is. And like I’ve been saying I’m very happy to be here.”

Focusing on what he can bring to Philadelphia, Pickett was asked about his strengths both on and off the field:

I think my accuracy, I think my ability to play in and out of the pocket, get on the move, extend some plays. Just being a leader on a team, that guys want to play with [that] guys want to have in the huddle all the things I feel like I do pretty well.

Howie Roseman scouted Pickett ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft

MOBILE, AL – FEBRUARY 02: National quarterback Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh (8) during the Reese’s Senior Bowl practice session on February 2, 2002 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire)

I mean, talking with Howie, I think he said it was the first college game he was at in three years or something that Thursday night game. We played North Carolina at Heinz Field. So, you know, great memory that I had a Pitt, It’s really cool that he was in attendance for that game and made it a point to be there…”

Finally, Pickett was also asked about the opportunity to work with Hurts and if he knew him beforehand:

Yeah, I haven’t known him before, never got a chance to speak with him. Got a chance to talk to him over text. Just kind of what’s going on here now. It’s a new coaching staff and how everything’s transpired. Seems like a great guy. I’m really looking forward to working with him. I think he’s an unbelievable player and I can learn a lot of things from him on the field, off the field. Just get to know him as a person, so I’m excited to join the room.