PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) — The new Pitt starting quarterback wants to be like the old Pitt starting quarterback. Graduate change Phil Jurkovec is eager to pick the brains of now Steelers QB Kenny Pickett.
They only really talked once when they were at Manning camp together. Jurkovic played Pickett in college and although they haven’t met since his return, Jurkovic said he’ll take it upon himself to try to get together.
The former Pine-Richland HS star didn’t want to bother Pickett as the Steelers season was just about to end. Jurkovec said he just wanted to learn what he could.
“I think just talking to him, maybe watching a movie and getting some tips,” Jurkovic said on Wednesday. “It’s helpful to learn from everyone.”
Both are record holders, Jurkovec holding Pennsylvania’s state record with 5,180 total yards in his senior season. Pickett has the most Pitt passing records, including career touchdown passes, yards and completions.
“He’s a playmaker, he’s a player,” Jurkovec said of what he likes about Pickett’s game. “He has a competitiveness that he just lets some things happen in the game. I saw that from him.”
Now it’s all about finding time between his classes and the Spring Ball and Pickett’s off-season workouts to hang out. Or even when they’re not together, just watch what he’s doing while he’s over on the Steelers side of the facility in Rooney, UPMC South Side.
“I’m really looking forward to working with him and watching him,” said Jurkovec. “I want to learn from him, his experience, what he’s done. He got a lot better with Pitt, especially in his senior year. It’s so great that you can be in this facility and watch the Steelers and how they do it. I think it’s a huge benefit that we can learn from these NFL guys.”
The other Pittsburgher he was dying to contact is much simpler, it’s Pitt’s offensive coordinator. Frank Cigniti was with Jurkovec at Boston College before returning home. He believes it will be a successful reunion.
“I owe a lot of my success at Boston College to Coach Cignetti,” Jurkovec said. “He really knows how to coach quarterbacks. I’m so happy to be back in this system. The way they coach the quarterback is different.”
“The first days, the first week, it’s all about footwork. You don’t get that in other places. We look Joe Montana Tape from the 90s. We observe the history from which it comes Bill Walsh and his success with the 49ers.”
“It’s a bit different, I think it’s a great system. It’s used in the NFL.”
In 16 games together with BC, Jurkovec completed nearly 60% of his passes for 3,472 yards with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He rushed for another 472 yards and eight more touchdowns.