Steelers News

Kenny Pickett Attributes Rhythmic Play In Debut To ‘Stolen Reps’ With Pickens And Other Starters On Sideline

Pittsburgh Steelers first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett made his NFL debut yesterday. Second-round wide receiver George Pickens also had his best game thus far, as well as his most active. Although his being involved more started while Mitch Trubisky was still playing, Pickett was finding his draft classmate as well.

And it wasn’t just Pickens. Pickett was successful working with everybody, going 10-for-13 for 120 yards, and that’s significant because of the fact that he is working with players that he didn’t get to practice or play with much during the preseason. But he did make time whenever possible, as he said after the game.

“Yeah, I mean any rep I could steal with George, I’d try to get one on the side, or [with] Diontae [Johnson], any of the guys. The ones I never really got a chance to do a lot with. Anything that I could get I would try to steal on the side or the couple reps I would get a day”, he said, via video from the team’s website of the quarterback’s postgame comments.

“I really wanted to take advantage of those and treat those like game reps so when the time came I’d be ready. I think all of that definitely paid off with some of the timing stuff that we were doing”, he added. As for Pickens, he’s not sure if there was anything to it beyond the game circumstances. “I’d probably just say certain play calls and then the looks that the defense was giving us. It’s not like a certain connection, he just took what the defense gave him”, he said of his working with Pickett.

Pickens caught two passes for 31 yards on four targets in the first half from Trubisky. He was targeted another four times in the second half from Pickett, connecting on all four passes for another 71 yards, although it must be said that 27 yards came with 16 seconds left on a pass that set up a Hail Mary attempt from near midfield.

Either way, it resulted in Pickens’ first career 100-yard game, finishing with six catches on eight targets for 102 yards. It was the first 100-yard game for any Steelers wide receiver this season. The rookie receiver entered yesterday’s game with 65 yards on five receptions from 12 targets during the first three weeks of the season.

We don’t know what the offense is going to look like with Kenny Pickett under center, especially not after he has at least a few games to get his feet underneath him, but we’re going to find out together. The Steelers invested a lot in this and the journey has already (or finally) begun.

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