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Pickens Feels He Has A Better Connection With Pickett Than Rest Of Receivers: ‘Me And Kenny Have Always Been Cool’

The Pittsburgh Steelers invested their top two draft picks on the quarterback and wide receiver positions, selecting quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round and wide receiver George Pickens in the second round. Both rookies have gotten significant playing time through the first 10 games of the season, with Pickens registering 33 receptions for 453 yards, the majority of which have come with Pickett under center. Talking to the media today, Pickens talked about his relationship with his quarterback.

“Me and Kenny been cool really the whole time,” Pickens said via Steelers.com. “We’ve been kind of connected since he’s had his opportunity. Me and Kenny have always been cool, and now it’s all sustaining it. It’s the back part of the season, so you kind of do the same thing and you want to be good at it.”

Developing chemistry with your quarterback is one of, if not the most important thing a wide receiver can do. When a rookie quarterback comes in, it can be hard for established veterans to adjust and learn to work with a new quarterback, but when there’s a rookie receiver coming in it’s easier to build chemistry because the two are both coming into a new system and a new organization while also having a foundation of going through a lot of the pre-draft process together. Pickens said he and Pickett met at the combine, and they shared a lot of similar experiences during training camp.

“Training camp, rookies staying in the dorms, that’s our first season so we only hanging with rookies. We’ve always had good sustainability, it’s just keeping it up, keeping it going.”

Pickens said that meeting Pickett early has helped the two of them build a connection that the rookie quarterback might not have with other receivers, but that they can get to that level.

“I feel like it can be. I don’t think it is cause they didn’t come out the same year I came out. They ain’t get to meet Kenny at the combine, you know what I mean? But I feel like if you just now meet a person, you can kind of work your way to that,” Pickens said. “You can kind of get that exposure and get that mutual relationship if you just work with it,” Pickens said.

It’s certainly interesting to hear Pickens say that he feels he has a better connection with Pickett than the rest of the receiving corps. As far as numbers go, Pickens has been the best receiver since the Steelers switched from Trubisky to Pickett, and the rapport the two of them have developed is definitely promising for the Steelers’ future. But Pittsburgh also has another talented receiver in Diontae Johnson, and Johnson hasn’t been nearly as productive this year as he has been in years past.

While his route tree has been drastically different this year and not in a good way, as Dave Bryan looked into this morning, the fact that Johnson probably doesn’t have the same level of chemistry with Pickett as Pickens does, and certainly not the level of chemistry that he had with former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could also explain his drop in numbers.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Pickens and Pickett’s relationship develops. Ideally, the two of them can build something similar (although it more than likely won’t be nearly as potent) as Roethlisberger had with Antonio Brown. If that ends up being the case, I think the Steelers organization and the fanbase will be very satisfied with the rookie class this season. For that to occur, the two of them have to continue to build and grow on the relationship they’ve already built, but the early returns have been promising.

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