ESPN: Steelers' Kenny Pickett Put 'Extra Emphasis on Building' Rapport with Pickens

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 19, 2023

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) talk on the field during an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett and wideout George Pickens have shown solid chemistry this summer.

And according to ESPN's Brooke Pryor, building that connection has been a priority for the young quarterback:

"Pickett isn't the only member of the offense showing the early signs of a second-year jump. Wide receiver Pickens was a one-man highlight reel in individual and team periods. While Pickett showed obvious chemistry with top receivers Diontae Johnson and Allen Robinson II, he seemingly put an extra emphasis on building a rapport with Pickens—beginning with the first play of the first team period when he attempted a 20-yard pass to Pickens down the sideline. Then, in the first preseason game, Pickett found Pickens for a 33-yard touchdown to put an exclamation point on his lone offensive series."

Pickens, 22, caught 52 passes for 801 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season, flashing the sort of tantalizing upside that had "future star" written all over it.

That has continued this summer:

PFF Fantasy Football @PFF_Fantasy

GEORGE PICKENS WITH ONE HAND 🤯<br><br>(📹via Shades412/Tiktok) <a href="https://t.co/9YBv2GhKdO">pic.twitter.com/9YBv2GhKdO</a>

ESPN Fantasy Sports @ESPNFantasy

George Pickens is a problem 😤 <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/oiRuSk2Efg">pic.twitter.com/oiRuSk2Efg</a>

Pickett, 25, wasn't quite so convincing. While the Steelers went 7-5 in his starts, he threw for just 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns and nine interceptions, taking 27 sacks while completing 63 percent of his passes.

But Pickett is the undisputed starter heading into the 2023 season, and he'll have a solid suite of weapons to work with out wide, including the exciting Pickens.