If he was waiting for Picard to give it up, he didn't know the man very well. This was the same guy who spent more than twenty years commanding the Stargazer
, after all.
To be fair, Picard was a young man when he assumed command of the Stargazer
, but not so much when he got the Enterprise
. It really wasn't too unreasonable for people to think at the time that Picard's career as a starship captain was winding down (with the Enterprise
capping it), and that he'd be moving onto the admiralty in a year or two.