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WR Coach Frisman Jackson Credits George Pickens As ‘A Pretty Grounded Dude’ Who Knows He Needs To ‘Work His Butt Off’

It’s safe to say that Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver George Pickens has got the football world excited, perhaps witnessing the birth of the NFL’s next great pass-catcher. The league’s own social media platform adopted a meme of the Georgia product watching himself on television catching his first touchdown pass. He’s jolted to or is near the top of betting odds for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

But even if he wasn’t already wired that way, he’s got the right coach to keep it all in perspective. I’m talking about wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson, who is in his first season with the Steelers. Neither of them have time for the noise.

Even when he makes a spectacular catch or he makes a catch and I hear the crowd oohing and aahing, I’m going to coach him and find something that he needs to work on to get better at”, he recently told Joe Rutter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

He added of his rookie phenom in the room, “He’s a pretty grounded dude. He wants to be a great football player. He knows it requires him to do hard work and work his butt off and to ignore the outside noise”.

While he hasn’t been shy about talking on the field when he makes a play against one of his teammates, he seems humble when he’s not in a competitive environment, and he’s not someone to go out reading his own press.

When asked about head coach Mike Tomlin tamping down some of the early media sensation that was brewing during his early days in training camp making catches, he said that he was supportive of that. “I kind of like it that way, because being humble is really the best way”, he said.

Of course, if he has the sort of early career trajectory that so many already envision for him, his willingness to stay humble will certainly be tested. He has already been compared to some modern greats like A.J. Green in his prime.

Pickens is expected to open the regular season as the Steelers’ third wide receiver alongside Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, who were their top two wide receivers a year ago, but one wonders how quickly he will make a push to see more playing time and more targets.

All of the wide receivers who have been throwing to him in camp have talked about how he’s a guy that you always want to throw to and how they’re all excited about building their chemistry with him. With Mitch Trubisky the projected starter, his opinion would probably matter most, and he’s been the most vocal about that.

He’s definitely a guy you want to go to”, he told reporters after the game on Saturday. “Any time the ball’s in his area, it’s a big-play opportunity. We’ve just got to keep getting reps with him, keep getting opportunities, and he’s gonna continue to do special things. He’s been really impressive up to this point”.

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